Friday, November 18, 2011

It's a Boy!!!

Just a quick note to say that we had a sonogram yesterday, and discovered that the baby who is currently kicking in my womb is a little boy! We are going to name him Timothy Luke. It means "God honoring light." I hope and pray that he will grow up to be a bright and shining light for Jesus, honoring God by turning many to Him. :-) Who knows? Maybe he'll be the next Billy Graham, Jonathan Edwards, or D.L. Moody, and bring a great revival to this dying nation (should the Lord tarry, of course). One can always hope and pray, right? :-)

Anyway, just thought I'd announce that news on my blog. I apologize for not writing very often. I'll have to blame that on this pregnancy being really taxing in the energy and stomach department, combined with the fact that I'm chasing after a toddler all day long too. :-P Needless to say, I keep very busy.

Here are a few recent pictures of my little family. (Photo credit goes to my sister, Faith.)

Danielle is a cutie, is she not? I just love that little girl so much, and am so looking forward to meeting my next child in 4 short months! God has richly blessed us beyond our wildest dreams. :-) For all that I am, and all that I ever hope to be, all the glory belongs to Jesus!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Big News!!

Hello All!

Yes, I realize that it has been a terribly long time since I last posted anything. The Summer has been very busy for my little family, and the moments I've had where I could have taken time to write something, were usually spent either resting or reading a book. I have a blog post brewing in the back of my mind which will probably be entitled "The Frog Prince or Prince Charming?" So stay tuned in the next week or two, and hopefully I'll have time to write what should be an edifying article for single girls.

Now...for my big news... *drum roll* Danielle is going to be a big sister!!! That's right! I'm expecting again, due sometime around April 2!!

It is kind of strange how I found out. I had suspected that I was pregnant for about the last week and a half before taking the test, due to spells of exhaustion and nausea that kept sweeping over me at random times. But I decided to wait until my birthday on July 30th to take the test, as I thought that would be a really neat birthday present. Well, I woke up at 6 that morning needing to use the restroom, so decided to take it then, as first thing in the morning is generally the best time to do it. So I took it, but being a little groggy, I didn't wait the full 3 minutes it requires to fully register the results, and only waited a few seconds. Thus all I saw was a bold negative sign. Disappointed, I put it back under the sink (I don't know why I didn't throw it away), and went back to bed.

I then spent the rest of the day wondering why I was feeling nauseous if I wasn't pregnant... Then, that night (Saturday), I dreamed that I went back and looked at the test again, to find that it was positive after all. The dream was so vivid that it haunted me all Sunday morning, until I finally went and looked at it again right before going to church. To my surprise, I saw that there was a very faint blue line forming the positive symbol of a "+" sign. I couldn't believe my eyes, therefore took it to church with me to show to my mom and ask her opinion (as technically, you aren't supposed to trust any readings on the test that may or may not appear after the first ten minutes of taking it). She said it was very likely that I was pregnant, and that I should wait a few more days and take another one.

I decided to wait until the next weekend...but Donald couldn't stand the suspense, and requested that I take it the following Wednesday morning. So I did (carefully following all the instructions, this time), and there was no doubting the positive sign this time!! :-D

I am sooooo excited!!!! In fact, I think I'm more excited than I was with Danielle, simply because I know now how amazing the whole process is. God is soooo good! And I'm convinced that He sent me that dream Saturday night to tell me that I needed to take a second look, and not be in such a rush this time. :-P

It was so much fun telling my family and the church the following Sunday. I pinned a sign to the back of Danielle that said, "Big Sister," and carried her around to let people see her. I loved the reactions we got. My favorites were when people read the sign, and started to walk off, then did a double-take and quickly turned back and said something along the lines of "Congratulations! I'm so excited for you!" followed by lots of hugs. :-) Those double-takes are fun.

I've been pretty tired and nauseous with this pregnancy...maybe more so than with Danielle, which may be because I'm still nursing her. I have continued to exercise, trying to keep my muscles toned so that maybe my next birthing experience will be a lot easier than my last one. And, this pregnancy has been strange thus far, in that even though I feel like I do nothing but eat all day long, I've actually lost 2 pounds (which puts me at a pound lower than I was when I got pregnant with Danielle)! That definitely didn't happen with Danielle. But I'm thinking it's because the nausea has been so bad that I can't eat much in one sitting, and have to eat small portions at a time in order to avoid repercussions.

Anyway...there's a little update for you. I'll try to be a bit better about writing in the future...hopefully. Now I'd better get some cleaning done while I still have the energy, and while Danielle is taking her morning nap.

Oh, and just so you all know, Danielle now finally has her first tooth, with a second one coming in! She got the first one 3 days after her first birthday...I guess she was slow on that to make up for the fact that she learned to do everything else early. :-P And she is still the most adorable little girl in the entire world, and is so sweet, loving, and obedient (for her age), that I'm continually in awe that God gave me such a Blessing. :-) God is good, is He not?


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recent Happenings...

It's been quite a while since I wrote anything for my blog... I must confess that (1) I've been really busy, and (2) I just haven't been inspired to write anything--and for me, writing comes mostly by inspiration (and just so you know, this blog post has no inspiration whatsoever behind it--I just thought it was high time that I write something).

So...what has been going on in my household/life lately?


I guess the last time I wrote was shortly before I had an operation on my arm to remove a small, benign tumor (called a Lipoma), that (due to its location) was causing me pain--especially while nursing. That was an adventure that I don't want to repeat. After giving me some local anesthesia, the doctor left the room for a while to let it "kick in." Well...he waited so long to return, that by the time they started cutting into my arm, I could feel it, as the medication had worn off.

Upon noticing my grimaces, my Mom (who kindly came to the operation with me) asked the doctor if I was supposed to be feeling anything. The doctor looked surprised upon finding out that I could still feel, and then proceeded to give me another shot (ick!). After that, the surgery, while uncomfortable (as I could feel them pulling on my skin and muscles), was relatively painless, and I got through it by quoting Scripture and reminding myself that if I could go through 53 hours of pain in childbirth, that I could surely get through a 30 minute procedure.

I took me a few days to be able to move that arm at all, so I was very grateful for my sister Harmony staying with me until I got over the worst of it. And now, about four weeks later, my arm feels almost completely normal again--aside from some slight tenderness if pressure is put on that area.

Danielle (age 10 1/2 months) has learned to crawl, pull up on everything(!), stand by herself, and walk with a walker. She has quite the little personality, and laughs at the strangest things--such as my blowing on my soup to cool it off. :-P She is such a delight, and I daily marvel at her and thank God for her. It is hard for me to believe that next month she will be a year old! Time has gone too quickly (and yet dragged at the same time), and I can hardly believe that the baby I gave birth to is now wearing size 12 month clothing.

Speaking of which, I recently made the two of us matching outfits. As soon as I get the picture from my sister, I shall post it here so you can see it.

In April (before my arm surgery), Donald built me a raised bed, which I then filled with layers of dirt, leaves, compost, and straw, and planted a vegetable garden. I had always wanted to plant a vegetable garden, so now that I've had a baby (the other thing I always wanted to do), I decided that should be the next womanly art to master. And yes, I say "womanly." After all, wives are to be "keepers at home," and Proverbs 31 tells us that part of that is providing food for her family, whether by planting it herself, or buying from the "merchants."

It has been an adventure...I never knew there were so many different ways to grow a garden! I probably did it all wrong...but despite that, I have large squash and zucchini, corn, bell pepper, green bean, sweet potato, English pea, tomato, cantaloupe, cucumber, and turnip plants growing--some with their first fruits on them! Now to see if I can keep them growing, or whether I have a "brown thumb." :-P

I have also been on an exercising rampage, which started back in February when I won a one month membership to Stroller Strides--a fitness group for moms and their babies. Wow, let me tell you, that was a workout! I stuck with them until the end of March, and then have continued on my own at a local park with my mother-in-law, who meets me there every morning to walk while I do my own program. I have managed to burn off 9 pounds since I started! Now only 6-7 lbs. more to go to reach my pre-pregnancy weight! Whoohoo! :-) It's been a lot of hard work, but I love feeling fit and "in shape." :-)

Anyway...there's a little summary of our recent doings. There has been a lot of other things that I have been doing in recent days, but none of it is really striking me as worth putting on the blog at the moment. Plus, Danielle is getting antsy and is wanting Mommy's I guess I should get away from the computer and go feed her some sweet potatoes. :-P


Monday, May 9, 2011

Abiding in Christ

As a favor to my dear sister, Grace, I am posting something that I wrote 4 years ago. When I wrote this, God was taking me on a special journey along the road of Trials in order that I might know Him better. Grace has been asking me about the subject of which God especially taught me during that time, and has asked that I post the article on my blog so that she and others might read it again. So here you are, sister dear. Enjoy! :-)

A Lesson in Abiding

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).

“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1 John 2:28).

Who would not want to have confidence when standing before their Savior? Who would not want to bring forth much fruit? However, the prerequisite to these two things appears to stem from abiding in Christ.

I had memorized these verses, but never understood them. Desperation to understand them would at times flood my soul, and I would eagerly review the verses—saying them over and over again to myself, hoping to gain an insight into their meaning. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance did not add to my understanding either. The verses remained as meaningless as ever.

The Fatal Day
Friday, February 9, 2007

I awakened on Friday at my usual time, and begin going about my “normal” day’s activities (i.e., taking a shower, getting dressed, reading my Bible, having breakfast, going to staff meeting, and then to work…), little knowing that on this day I would begin and adventure in abiding that would allow me to comprehend the importance of these verses.

The adventure began with my daily memorization time. I sat down with my Bible and began memorizing 1 John 3. After I had memorized about ten verses of this chapter, I decided to review 1 John 1 and 2, and also John 15. As usual, those verses bewildered me. However, this time a “brilliant” thought struck me: “If you cannot understand these verses, then why not go to the Author of the Word and ask Him what they mean?”

This thought flashed through my brain like a thunderbolt, leaving me feeling somewhat stupid that I had not thought of it before then. So, in my morning prayer time, I petitioned the Lord that He would reveal the meaning of those verses to me sometime that day. However, I little knew how many times He would literally reveal this concept of abiding in Him during the days following that prayer.

The Mission:

Print a Quark Express document (i.e., Parent Guide Planner 43) to a postscript file; insert the postscript file into Adobe Distiller, and from there into Adobe Acrobat, thereby making a PDF of Parent Guide Planner 43. Then, take the PDF and post it on a website so that our reviewers could view the document and edit it. Sounds simple right? Just a few simple clicks of the mouse, and it should be finished in about five minutes.

Mission Aborted?

For over an hour I sat at my computer boggled and frustrated. All the postscript files said that they were corrupted. Then Quark document decided to crash, and none of the backups would open. Repeatedly, I tried the familiar steps, but to no avail. Disheartened, I knew not what to do. I was already an hour late for a Valentine Banquet planning meeting, and as it was now after six (over an hour after office closing time) there was no one to consult with about my problem. Finally, another thought struck my poor brain: “Pray!”

Mission Accomplished!

And so I prayed. “Father, I don’t know what is wrong with this document. I’ve tried everything, but it won’t even open for me. However, you are the Creator of the universe, and you know all things. Can you please lay your hand upon this document and allow me to open it?”

Continuing in prayer, I clicked once more on the document—holding my breath. Miracle of miracles, it opened! “Thank you Father,” I prayed. Now, to make a postscript of the file… What!? It still would not work! Again I prayed, “Father, please allow me to get this to work!” Lo and behold, no sooner had I prayed than I finally got it to work. From then on, every thing I tried to do would not work until I had prayed first—so with each click of the mouse, I prayed desperately. Finally, nearly two hours after beginning this “five minute” procedure, I had completed the task—glory be to His holy name!

I then questioned the Lord, “Father, what was that all about? Why couldn’t it have gone smoothly as usual?” Instantly, the words, “Abide in me, and I in you…for without me ye can do nothing” flashed through my mind. “Ah hah!” I thought. “So, I can’t even click a mouse without your help, is that it Lord? I have to rely on you to do EVERYTHING? Is that part of abiding?” Finally, I felt that I had begun to understand a little of what it means to abide in Christ.

Abiding Reinforced
Saturday, February 10, 2007

Place: The Children’s Program for the annual Valentine’s Banquet here at HQ
Time: Around 8:30 p.m.

What was I to do? I had four teams of children who would be coming to my assigned station in the China Room, where I was supposed to act the part of a persecuted Chinese believer and tell them stories for ten minutes. However, the art of story telling is one gift that I have always lacked. I tried rehearsing the stories a few times while I was waiting for the children to arrive. Oh dear! I kept stumbling over my words, and making an absolute mess of the story. How was I to tell these children stories that would not only keep their attention, but would also impact them for all eternity?

Again, those beautiful words, “Abide in me, and I in you…for without me ye can do nothing,” flooded my mind. “Ok, Lord,” I prayed, “After yesterday’s experience with the computer, I know that I can do nothing without you. Therefore, can you please be with me tonight and give me the words to say? Because I can’t do it without your help.”

The children arrived, and suddenly my nervous jitters vacated my soul to have the peace of God fill it instead. I sensed His presence and knew that He was with me. I soon became so engrossed in the story I was telling, that I felt as if I was the person in the story. The words continued to smoothly pour from my lips, and I knew that it was not I, but the Lord who was speaking through me. The children remained riveted on my every word, and they left with a whole new awareness of the persecuted believers of China. The Lord had again taught me to abide in Him and allow Him to work through me!

An Earthen Vessel—Another Secret to Abiding
Monday morning, February 12, 2007

During my morning Bible study, 2 Corinthians 4:7 jumped from the page: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

Curios about what the word “power” meant in the Greek, I looked up the Strong’s numbers beside the word, and found the following. It was the Greek word “dunamis,” meaning power, ability, might, strength, or mighty work.

I went back and read the previous verse: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

A picture began forming in my mind. God has shone His light into my heart in the person of Jesus Christ. However, I have this treasure—the treasure of the person of Jesus Christ—stored in the “earthen vessel” of my body. What is special about an earthen vessel? Nothing. It is the lowest and the humblest of all vessels. Even so, it can still contain something—or in this case, Someone. However, because of the glorious person of the Lord Jesus Christ dwelling inside the “earthen vessel” of my body, all my “power” or abilities come directly from Him, that He alone might receive the glory!

At this realization, a sudden joy flooded my soul. “Why does this make me so happy?” I questioned. “Because it all goes back to abiding!” was the answer I received. “Abide in me, and I in you…for without me ye can do nothing.” Allowing Christ to work in and through me for the furthering of His kingdom. If I rest in Him—knowing that I can do nothing without Him, knowing that all “my” abilities come from Him—there is then no limit to what I can do for Jesus! This is why He said, “He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

The Continuing Lesson

Ever since that “fateful” day, the Lord has been giving me opportunities to see how truly weak and helpless I am, and how much I really need Him. An opportunity such as awakening one morning four weeks ago to find that I can’t turn my head to the left or to the right because of a sharp pain going from the base of my skull down through my shoulder blade. Or an opportunity such as walking home from Staff Meeting in the dark and failing to see a patch of ice which caused my feet to fly out from underneath me, thereby causing me to sprain my back and have whiplash in my neck. (These incidents occurred Sunday, February 18, 2007.) However, even in the midst of the ensuing pain and long recovery process, I can still thank and praise the Lord, because through it, He has shown me what a weak earthen vessel I am and that I truly can do nothing without Him.

So, in conclusion, what do I now understand those verses to mean? Here is my paraphrase.

“Abide in me. Rest in me. Gather all of your strength from me, and allow me to dwell in you. Just as a branch of a vine cannot bear fruit without the life-giving sustenance of the vine, neither can you bear fruit without relying on my strength and sustenance. If in everything you do, you realize that your strength is nothing and that you cannot do anything without my help, then, and only then, shall you be fruitful for the kingdom of God. Remember that all your abilities come from Me—your Creator and Life Giver—and without me working in and through you, you can truly do nothing.”

Sounds simple, huh? On the contrary, it took several hard lessons to get it through my head. But, the Lord be praised, I now understand these verses in a whole new way, and am trusting that as I abide in Him, that He will work in and through me for the furthering of His kingdom.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).


Sunday, April 3, 2011

God Came to Dinner

Suppose God came to your house for dinner. How would you behave? How would you treat Him? Many of us would no doubt be on our absolute best behavior, fix the nicest meal possible, and show Him every respect, courtesy, and social grace expected by hostesses of our time period. We would want the dinner to be as perfect as possible in order to either impress (if such a thing were possible!) or show our respect and love for God.

That is how it should be....but let me tell you about a time God came to dinner, and met with rudeness, ridicule, and rejection.

God came to dinner. A wealthy man had invited Him. One of thousands who had long looked for His coming, this man of political and religious power should have welcomed God with open arms, rejoicing in the fact that he had the inexpressible honor of playing "host" to God for the evening. But God came to dinner, and this man neither knew Him, nor received Him.

God came to dinner, and in a time when it was an expected courtesy to wash your guest's feet to remove the grime and filth of travel (after all, they wore sandals and traveled on the same dirt roads that animals used! think about that...), to anoint him with perfumed oil to hide the stench of sweat mingled with body odor, and to greet him with a kiss, the God of the universe was snubbed, and had none of these social graces administered. God came to dinner...and He was rejected, reviled, mocked intentionally and without remorse. All who saw knew that the master of the house cared nothing for the Master of Creation--that the man was openly snubbing His Maker. God came to dinner, and received a "slap" in the face.

God came to dinner, and blinded by his own self righteousness and perceived importance, the host saw nothing in his Messiah but an unattractive, poor carpenter with fanatical views. The man had long looked for the coming of the "Promised One," but when He came to his house, the host only showed disdain for His person and message. God came to dinner, and no one cared.

But did. An uninvited guest--a sinful woman of questionable character came to the dinner that night. Weeping, she made her way to the table, and came and knelt at His feet. The host had failed to wash His feet, but the woman washed His filthy feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. The host did not offer Him a kiss of welcome, but the woman covered His feet with kisses. The host had not offered Him any ointment to cover the smells of travel, but the woman brought an alabaster box of ointment, and poured it on His feet.

God came to dinner, and an uninvited guest showed Him love, gratitude, and acceptance. God came to dinner, and showed that He was indeed God by forgiving the woman of her sins. God came to dinner, and though rejected by His host, He received glory, adoration, and love from the heart of a grateful and repentant sinner who alone recognized Who He truly was.

Has God ever come to your "house" for "dinner"? How did you treat Him? Jesus said that "...inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Have you ever seen a person you judged as a great sinner because of how they looked on the outside (covered in piercings, tattoos, dressed immodestly, exhibiting an angry/bitter spirit, etc.), and started judging them instead of loving and praying for them? I have. Yet perhaps those are the very people whom God would have us love and win to Him! Perhaps we should learn to not focus on their outward appearance, but on their hearts and souls that are in desperate need of a Savior's love and forgiveness.

Or, have you ever seen a fellow believer who maybe didn't have the same values as you, or looked poor, ugly, undesirable, or unpopular, whom you didn't want to associate with due to the implications it might have on your reputation? I have done this also. How foolish! God is in that person, and how sorrowful He must be as He watches us snub one of His own children!

God comes to our "house" for "dinner" so often--almost every day--and yet how often do we actually recognize Him, and receive Him? We are no better than that self righteous Pharisee who invited Jesus to his home for dinner so long ago (Luke 7:36-50)!

Oh that God would open our eyes and our hearts to see the "least" person He has sent into our lives, so that when He "comes to dinner" through them, we could treat them with the respect, love, and honor that HE deserves.

These are just a few of the thoughts running through my head today, inspired by the sermon my father preached at church this morning.

Oh that I loved my Savior as He deserves! Oh that I felt the gratitude for His great sacrifice on the cross that I should! For if I did, then that love and gratitude would pour out of me into others, thereby obeying the second greatest commandment, to love my neighbor as myself. For only by obeying the first and greatest commandment ever given, can I even hope to obey the second.

"...A lawyer, asked [Jesus] a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:35-40).

Seeking to know and love the Lover of my soul,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I have been dwelling on verses from the Gospel of John all morning, reminding myself that though the world is falling apart, I still have an Anchor to the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ. Here are just a few of the verses. I won't give any commentary on them, as they don't need any. Just let the Word of God speak to your heart.

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:1-3).

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

Yes, only in Jesus, the Prince of Peace, can we ever find perfect peace and rest. Let's turn to Him with our whole hearts!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Our Refuge

In a day and age where the world seems to be spinning out of control, when the stench of sin permeates the air you breathe, when economic collapse seems certain, when the sanctity of marriage is treated as worthless, when countless babies are sacrificed (i.e., murdered) on the altar of selfishness and convenience, and when you just don't know what to do or where to go, there is a Refuge.

This Refuge has been a Strong Tower through every storm. No tempest has ever marred its pristine walls; no tumult has ever shaken its foundation. Throughout the pages of history, this Sanctuary has sheltered the hungry, the naked, the weak, the sick, the persecuted, and the forsaken, and has given them food, clothing, strength, health, defense, and friendship. No other Refuge has ever stood so sure--so strong throughout the ages. No other has given of itself so freely, without expectation of return.

Within its walls, you can find rest, comfort, hope, sustenance, joy, love, and peace--peace like no other, and peace without end. Yes, this our Refuge, our Strong Tower, our Hope--our God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He calls to us, saying,

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

And, "lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matthew 28:20).

Yes, our God is a refuge for us. Let us flee to Him, and rest in the shelter of His mighty hand.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).

"The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge" (Psalm 46:7).

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe" (Proverbs 18:10).

"The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower" (Psalm 18:2).

"Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress." (Psalm 71:3).

"I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust" (Psalm 91:2).


Monday, February 28, 2011

Valentine's Candy or True Love?

Imagine you are a wife out on a shopping trip the afternoon before Valentine's Day. As you walk through the store, you notice your husband is at one of the cash registers. Surprised, you walk toward him, hoping to give him a hug, and surprise him with your presence also. But notice that he has purchased roses and Valentine's candy--undoubtedly for you. You don't want to spoil his surprise, so you jump into a side aisle to watch and wait for him to leave. As he nears the exit, a beautiful, but immodest (or scantily clad) woman enters and walks past him. You notice that your husband stops, turns, and gazes after her with a delighted, but lustful look in his eyes, before finally turning to leave the store with his "gift of love" in his hand for you.

You are stunned, disappointed, crestfallen, angry. How could you even begin to think of ever accepting his gift, his "offering of love" now? You know now that it is not a symbol of his undying love for you, but a mere offering to "earn points," and to keep you happy with him for another year. Whatever will you do now?

Now imagine that you are another wife at that same store who also sees her husband buying her a gift. He walks out on the heels of the first husband, and also passes by the scantily clad, but beautiful woman. He barely catches a glimpse of her out of the corner of his eye, before turning his eyes, and indeed, his whole body in the opposite direction in order to avoid seeing her.

You watch, and feel jubilant, loved, cherished. Your husband loved you enough to keep his eyes for you and you alone. You will adore him, and cherish the gift that he purchased for you, because you know it came from the heart, and that he loves you above all others.

Now...there are several applications to this story, and I will just mention three.

1. Most women would read this, and say hurray for the second husband! If only all men were like him! Indeed, if only all men were like him. If only every man would purpose in his heart to set no evil thing before his eyes (Ps. 101:3). What a difference that would make in marriages today! I know a young man who made a "covenant" with his eyes (based on Job 31:1--"I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?"). One day, my dad rode with him through a section of the city that was filled with billboards advertising night clubs--which of course had defrauding women on them. Dad watched the young man's eyes, and saw that they never strayed to the right or left but stayed focused on the road ahead. Since that day, God has blessed him richly in both his marriage and in his business.

2. How many of us come to church every Sunday to present our "candy and flowers" (tithes, offerings, attendance, etc.) to God, and then instantly turn around the next day and begin lusting after the things of the world? "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4). How this must hurt our Savior, the Lover of our souls! And believe me, I do not preach this section to anyone but myself. For I far too often am guilty of this very thing. Too often do I push God to the side, thinking that I'm too busy to spend quality time with Him. Too often do I enjoy watching an old, funny movie more than I do reading the Word of God. Oh foolish me! "O wretched [girl] that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord...."
"O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" (Ps. 51:15-17). This is true love for God--not just symbolic candy! May we each be like an adoring bride, and have eyes and ears for only our Lord, our Maker, and our Husband (Isaiah 54:5)!

3. Ladies, dare we ever allow our dress to cause our brothers in Christ to stumble! Yes, they should guard their eyes, but why should they even have the reason to do so in the first place??? God, through His servant Paul, says in Romans 14:21, "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth or is offended, or is made weak." Yes, that verse has to do with food...but should it not also have to do with our actions as well? For Paul also says in 1 Corinthians 10:31, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." Doesn't it make sense then, that we should dress for the glory of God, and in such a manner as to keep our brothers in Christ from stumbling?

Now, my dad has always told me that a man can lust after a woman even if she's dressed in a potato sack... And while that may or may not be true, there is still no reason for us to "flaunt" our bodies before them. When a woman wears a low cut blouse (it doesn't even have to necessarily show any cleavage, but even if it shows only a slight "dip"), a man's eyes will be instantly drawn there, and their minds will begin imagining what the rest looks like.

If a woman wears a skirt that is too short (and in my definition [and my husband's!], anything that is not at least 2 inches below the knee is too short), they will inevitably show more leg than they intend as they walk and move about their day. A man's eyes are instantly drawn to their legs, and they begin wondering how much more they can see. When a woman wears a shirt, or skirt/pants that are too form fitting (even if they're covered from head to toe in material!), if a man can see too much of an outline of their form, his eyes will be drawn to their body, and he will be able to imagine only too well what lies underneath.

Yes, this may make a man sound like he's sick...and he is! He is a sinner just like us of the opposite gender! But God made a man to be sight-oriented, and they are naturally aroused by the things they see. That is a wonderful thing when kept within the bounds of marriage. But outside of that, it can lead to temptation, fornication or adultery. And again, while they need to make a covenant with their eyes and God, we women need to do our part.

Every day I pray that God will blind my husband to defrauding women he might encounter in his day, as he goes about his job (and believe me, he sees a lot in his line of work!), and that the Lord will keep Donald's mind stayed on Him. Is it therefore any wonder that I might feel perturbed when I go to church and see a woman who is not dressed appropriately? I actually had to tell my husband recently to not look at a woman, because I felt that she was dressed immodestly, and I didn't want my husband to see her and then struggle with thoughts that he shouldn't be struggling with in the first place!

It is my job as a wife to try and shield my husband from those areas of temptation as much as possible. This is practice I began long before my marriage, and it started with my dad and brother. In fact, my brother once called me his "moral compass." Whenever we went out, I would tell him to look another direction if I saw a defrauding woman approaching. If we went to a restaurant, and an immodest woman sat at the table next to us, I would tell my brother and dad to sit on a side of the table where they couldn't see her. And yes, it is impossible to keep them from seeing every immodest woman that comes along, but I can try to help as much as possible! This practice has become a habit with me, and I continue it with my husband to this day.

While my husband is the most loyal and faithful man I have ever known, I also realize that he is still a man and a sinner--and no man is above struggling with sexual temptations. Therefore, I am exceedingly jealous over my husband. I want his eyes to be for me and for no other woman. I therefore keep a zealous watch, and strive to keep the most valuable thing he has ever given me: his heart. This is how I display true love to not only my husband, but to all my brothers in Christ. Because I love them as brothers, I do not want to ever give them "eye candy," thereby becoming a cause of stumbling to them!

So women, here is my plea: when you get dressed in the morning, pretend like Jesus is standing in the mirror with you (and I assure you He is!). Does He approve of what you are wearing? Ask your husband (or your father, brother, etc.) if he approves of your clothing--and specifically, if he were to see this outfit on another woman, what would it make him think? Because while some men don't think twice about what their wife wears (due to the fact that she is his wife, and it's okay for them to look at and think about her), if they were to see the same outfit on another woman, it would be a whole different matter in a lot of cases! Whenever I am unsure about an outfit, I always ask my husband what he thinks (and I used to do this with my dad and brother before marriage), and he is always happy to give me his honest opinion. Indeed, there have actually been a few outfits that he has asked me not to wear in public, and I try to honor those wishes, since the Bible says that my body belongs to my husband--and he also zealously guards it and wants to keep it for himself! (1 Cor. 7:4--"The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.")

Then, finally, if it is too low cut, too short, or too tight (form fitting, so that it shows every curve of your body), DON'T WEAR IT!

Also, if you are wearing a skirt, do be careful how you sit. All too often, my husband has told me (or I have seen for myself!) of a woman who was wearing a relatively long skirt, but did not sit correctly, and showed far more to the world than she ever wanted them to see! (Sometimes I think we women might be better off if we went back to the days of wearing bloomers under our dresses...) And I know that a lot of women have a "skirts only" belief. And I understand and appreciate that belief. But if the job calls for it (i.e., if you're going to be in a situation where it is difficult to remain modest in a skirt--such as gardening, horse back riding, skating, hiking, etc.), then please do wear pants. God can and will be honored by a decision (as long as the pants are modest that is--not too tight, low riding, etc.) made to cover what He meant to keep private. After all, He actually commanded the priests to wear pants under their long robes in order to keep their private areas covered as they went up the steps to the altar (Exodus 28:42)!

Ultimately, though, PRAY about your clothing, dress for the glory of God, and PLEASE purpose in your heart to shield your brothers in Christ from temptation by dressing modestly at all times.

Anyway...I have had those points impressed on my heart, and I just needed an outlet for them, otherwise I might have burst at the seams. :-P And this is what this blog is for (and if you don't like it, don't read it!). If you were offended by anything I said, then I am sorry, but I do not apologize for what I said, because these are my convictions, and I believe that they are God-given. A conviction is something that you are willing to die for--and I would die before I intentionally wore anything I knew to be immodest outside of my bedroom.

May God guide us in His path of Righteousness, keep a watch over our eyes, teach us to truly love Him and each other, help us to put aside things of this world by being in love with Him, and reveal His perfect and matchless will to all those who truly seek Him.


p.s., a disclaimer here... The story at the beginning was not completely mine. It was an embellished tale based on a true story I heard from my instructor at Faith Bible Institute. Also, all my references to what men think when they see certain types of clothing are not just things I made up--they are actual facts based on what my husband, father, brother, and other men have told me. Also, please don't think that I'm saying that we all need to start dressing like we're on Little House on the Prairie--because I'm not! There are plenty of ways to dress stylishly, without being immodest. I know many women who have mastered this art, and they are some of the most beautiful, pure women I know. Also, please do not ever dress in a certain way in order to attract a man. If they are attracted to you for your looks, then you don't want them!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Adventure is Out There!

Some days, I think to myself, "I want to do something really adventurous...something spectacular with my life." And then I remember that I'm a mother...and that's just about the greatest adventure there is.

It was once said that "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." And that, my friends, is a sobering, but true statement. I have a great responsibility laid on these shoulders of bringing up my baby to be a godly young woman of virtue. In some respects, I will have more to do with influencing her life for either good or evil than any other person, as I am with her 24/7. WOW. How dare I not think that motherhood is an adventure!

Yes, this is my adventure. This is my spectacular feat. Motherhood. Attempting to lead a young life toward and in the paths of righteousness. A Proverbs 31:10-31 life. Wow.

May the Lord help me!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The answer to a perplexing situation, and Danielle's progress in life.

I posted a while back about my confusion as to whether I should start Danielle on solid foods. Well, within three days of writing that, I had my answer. It came with a simple weight check. Donald decided that we should weigh our little darling to see how she had progressed, and to our dismay, she had regressed! She had lost 7 oz since the last time we weighed her. I then decided to start her on solid foods right away.

I first gave her banana...she didn't like that very much at all.

I then gave her avocado--which she absolutely loved (probably because I've eaten so much of it over the last several months), followed by sweet potato, which she also loved (and tomorrow she gets to try green beans!). In the last two weeks since I've started her on solids (I just feed her once a day, so far), she's gained well over a pound. So I think she's right on track again.

In an effort to save money and keep my baby healthy, I have been making my own baby food. It is sooo simple that I don't see why more moms don't do this. I merely choose my vegetable, cook it (usually steam it), blend it up, place it in an ice cube tray, cover it with foil, and freeze it. Once the food is frozen, I pop out the cubes, and place them in freezer bags. Then, about an hour before I want to feed her, I get out a cube (which is one serving) or more, and set it out to thaw. It is sooo simple (literally only takes me 5 minutes to prepare enough food for 2 weeks worth of meals), saves lots of money, and is a much healthier alternative. So I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself over that. :-) to Danielle's progress in life. I am happy to announce that yesterday she learned to go from all fours to a sitting position. Then, she also scooted across the room to me, pushing with her back legs and pulling with her arms. Now that she's learned those two tricks, she is quite mobile, and therefore goes wherever she wants, and can sit up whenever she wants (which she is really pleased about that one, as she loves sitting up).

She is such a little joy, and I just cannot imagine life without her. I especially love how excited she gets when she sees me first thing in the morning, and knows she's about to be fed. This morning, she nearly jumped out of her daddy's arms with excitement. It was sooo cute. :-)

Anyway...there's a little update. Life in general is going pretty well. Last night, I went to a nursing mothers' group and won a membership and one month's worth of unlimited lessons with Stroller Strides (, so am super excited about that, and hope to start on that soon, and lose the rest of this pregnancy weight.

I guess in a nutshell, this sums up my life right now: God and my husband are much better to me than I deserve, and seem to love me despite my failures/weaknesses. And I'm especially glad that babies are so forgiving, and seldom remember their mother's mistakes. ;-)


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Seeking Wisdom...

I am discovering that as a parent, there are a lot of decisions to be made. In some areas, there isn't really a right or a wrong choice, while others are more crucial. I have always had a hard time making decisions, and have always told either my father (before marriage) or my husband to just "tell me what to do, and I'll do it." And, sometimes, they would oblige me. However, my husband has ceased to do that, and tells me that I need to learn to make my own I can no longer use him as a crutch.

Anyway...all that to say, I hate making decisions. Therefore, I am having a hard time right now deciding what to do about my little girl. She is now 6 1/2 months old, and I still have not started her on solid foods. I have done a great deal of research on the subject, besides asking my midwife, a lactation consultant, and several moms about their opinion. But it all boils down to the fact that I'm the mother, and I know what is best.

Some say the longer you can go on breastmilk only, the better for the baby. Others say it's dangerous to go past 6 months without introducing solids. Others say that the baby will tell you when she's ready for solids. So...while I'm trying to decide what is best for my baby, she continues on breastmilk alone. :-P

However, she has been sooo cranky the last couple of days, and just doesn't seem like her normal self--and for the last few days I haven't felt as though my milk supply is quite what it should be. So, it's either that she's cutting a tooth, or maybe my milk isn't doing it for her anymore. Therefore, I am pondering whether or not I should start her on some solid food (a.k.a., avocado). There doesn't seem to be a right or a wrong answer to this situation...I just have to make the decision...which I hate doing. :-P

So, I am praying right now for a special dose of Mother Wisdom to be bestowed on me by the One who gives wisdom liberally to all those who ask it of Him.

There's just a peek into one of the many conundrums of being a mother...


Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Spring Creek twice in one week, and I'm a happy man..."

"Spring Creek twice in one week, and I'm a happy man..." said my husband just a few minutes ago. Spring Creek Barbeque twice in one week you ask? Yes! Here my husband and I hardly ever go out to eat on our own, and here we are eating twice at the same restaurant within a three day period. How is that possible?


We went to Spring Creek on Tuesday evening, intending to use a gift card given to my husband for Christmas. When we got to the cashier, we found that it was an old friend we knew from a church we used to attend. When she saw us, we talked for a little, and when my husband went to get out his wallet to pay for our dinner, she said, "Oh, it's on me. Don't worry about it." Surprised, we thanked her profusely, and then sat down to enjoy our free, and very yummy dinner.

We didn't have the baby with us that evening (as her GiGi had volunteered to watch her to give us a date night), so we promised our friend that we'd be back later this week with the baby so that she could see her. So, we went back tonight, and got to show off our baby to Caitlin, and use our gift card too. Thus, we had two free meals this week at Spring Creek--two meals that I didn't have to prepare. It was wonderful!

Also, Danielle has always had a fascination with Spring Creek cups, as she seems particularly fascinated with the colors red and yellow. Thus far, she has always played with her Daddy's big cups--and they can keep her occupied for a long time too. So tonight when we were at the restaurant, we mentioned this to Caitlin, who said, "Well, would she like one her own size?" And she immediately went behind the counter and grabbed a small cup and brought it to her. Danielle is in love... Finally, her favorite cup, in her own size. :-D

Anyway, there's one of our adventures for the week. God sure knows how to give unexpected gifts.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas, New Years, Anniversary, etc.

The last couple of weeks have been packed full of so many travels and adventures, that quite frankly, I don't even know where to begin...and indeed, I don't think I shall even try to go into much detail, as the very thought is overwhelming.

So, I shall give a brief sketch of our adventures...

Saturday, December 18th, we had our first Christmas with Donald's parents and sister. It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the day immensely (as I usually do when getting to spend time with my wonderful in-laws!). Danielle enjoyed the day too, especially since her kind grandparents gave her an exersaucer. :-)

I spent the next few days finishing up Christmas projects, such as Danielle's dress which I mentioned in my last blog... Isn't it cute?

I baked 82 cookies to take to family gatherings...

And did a whole assortment of other things. At last, it was all done, and we were off on Wednesday, the 22nd, to Tyler, TX to spend time with my Dad's side of the family. We stayed the night at Mama-Doll's (my grandmother) house, where she and Danielle had lots of fun playing together.

The next day, we went to my Uncle Fred (Dad's older brother) and Aunt Claudia's house, where we had our Christmas with them. Danielle had fun getting acquainted with her relatives.

We left there that evening, and came back home, where we slept and arose early the next morning to head to Sunset, TX to have a Christmas celebration with Donald's maternal family.
We then left there that evening, and came back home. The next morning (Christmas Day), our little family opened our gifts to each other, took some pictures...

...and then headed to my parents house for the remainder of the day. We had a lot of fun, and really enjoyed the day there. I loved giving the aprons I made to my sisters, and I think they loved them too. :-)

Oh, and my parents gave me a bread machine!!! I'm soooo thrilled!

The next day, we headed out to a town near Terrell, TX to have another Christmas celebration with Donald's paternal family. That finished, we were done with family gatherings for a few days... Whew! I took a few days off and rested, and then I had mine and Donald's family (parents & siblings) over for lunch on New Year's Day. Then, the next day, we went to my Granny and Grandpa's house (my mother's parents) for our last Christmas celebration with that side of the family. So, as you can see, our Christmas was a whirlwind of family gatherings. And, I must confess, I'm not ready for another long car ride any time soon. Danielle was a trooper, though, and I'm proud of her. :-)

Then, on Monday (Jan. 3rd), it was mine and Donald's 2nd wedding anniversary!! We celebrated the day by going to a sushi restaurant for lunch (yum!!), taking a nap with the baby, playing board games, watching a movie, and just being together. We decided this year not to take a trip anywhere, as both on our 1st anniversary trip and our honeymoon (both to the same place), one or both of us was sick with the stomach virus, and we decided we needed to break the trend and stay home (and hopefully not get sick!). Thankfully, we were both in excellent health for our anniversary, and enjoyed our day to the fullest. :-)

(For more pictures from our anniversary, go to this link:

Danielle turning 6 months old on December 30th was our other big event of the last few weeks. Using some coupons I had, I took her out to a studio to have a 6 month portrait taken. I can't wait to see them! However, I did decide that she needed some snapshots taken at home too... So here are a few of them. Isn't she a darling?

(For more recent pictures of Danielle, go to this link:

I have spent the last few days trying to rest and recover from those very hectic two weeks, and today am finally feeling energetic again. I have several new projects in mind for the coming weeks and months (some of which include finishing a quilt and organizing my home from top to bottom), but will write more on those in the days to come, as this is already a lengthy post, and I have a baby who needs my attention right now. :-P

So, I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and will write more later!