Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The first step to remodeling our kitchen was demolition. We stripped the kitchen of its cupboards and its dry-wall-like material. This brought about many encounters with nails, lots of nails. Big, strong nails that required strength and power to remove. Tiny nails that came out all too easily. Rusted nails that were once mighty but weakened when compromised by the elements. Misguided nails that, due to their off-course ventures, became impossible to remove and had to be either pounded further in until they were absorbed by the wood surrounding it or permanently cut off so as to appear as if it never existed.

The next step was rebuilding, which also brought about many encounters with nails. Many a man can attest to the fact that nails do not go in on their own. They must be repetitively pounded until they have found their rightful place between the grains of the wood. They provide such strength and structure. So much so that without them, the crafted would crumble.

Desiderius Erasmus, a Catholic Christian theologian from the 1400's said, "A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit." I would agree with him and would add that a nail is much like a habit in many ways. They are driven into place by repetition, they provide structure to the created thing and the strongest ones also require the most power to remove.

As I gear up to sort out some habits (like the chaff from the wheat), this visual of the nail is worth holding on to.

Character and The Second Law of Thermodynamics

I say that habit's but a long practice, friend, and this becomes men's nature in the end.

Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.
~Stephen Covey, Author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People"

Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
~Charles Reade, 1814-1884, English Writer

It is no small wonder that the Lord is pressing His thumb down firm on the pressure point called "Habit". A habit "becomes men's nature in the end". My character is "bascially a composite of" my habits and constantly express my character. "Sow a habit, and you reap a character". In other words, its not that I am what I eat, but that I am what I habitually do. Much conviction lies here.

I have been thinking about physics lately, a subject I try, almost at all costs, to avoid thinking about! Specifically, I have been thinking about The Second Law of Thermodynamics, which, in my words, states that things left to themselves will increase in entropy, or disorder. Habits, my habits, have not found themselves immune to this law. As I have become busier and busier, and have not been very intentional about my habits, many of them have succombed to that Second Law of Thermodynamics. I do believe this is why the Lord has seen fit to love me enough to press hard on that pressure point and for that, I am so thankful!

Now, I know the Lord is gracious, and that second rock in my dryer, the one I will blog on very soon, also come into play here. If you have any thoughts about habits, any thoughts at all, I would love to hear from you. How has the Lord helped you to develop good habits?

Lastly, I'll leave you with another photo! Impressive, huh?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Rocks, Gongs, and Habits

The subject of habits has been knocking around in my head more like a resounding gong than a mere rock in the dryer lately. Actually, the time frame "lately" isn't very accurate! It's been months that God has been flashing this word across the billboard of my life.

Habit, according to Webster's 1828 dictionary is "A disposition or condition of the mind or body acquired by custom or a frequent repetition of the same act. Habit is that which is held or retained, the effect of custom or frequent repetition. Hence we speak of good habits and bad habits."

Isn't the framework of life really built with such a material as habit? We function according to our habits, both the good and the bad, and when we respond to others, it is usually their habits that we are responding to.

As a parent, I center much of my time around the building up of good habits and the breaking down of bad habits. As a home-manager, my day is dictated by my habits, both the virtuous habits and the unfavorable ones. As a follower of Christ, much of my fruit is displayed in my habits.

I have been increasingly convicted of my habits lately. I see the gravitational pull they seem to have on not just myself but also my husband and my children. I feel the heat of the Refiner's Fire (Malachi 3: 2,3), as if He's piled more wood on and stoked it up good. A little intimidating? Yes! But I'm excited to see what the Potter (Isaiah 64:8) can do with this vessel of mercy (Romans 9:22-24). I hope you won't mind if I share a few travel notes from this journey I am finally ready to begin!

Finally, the other rock in my dryer of late has to do with this:

But lunch preparation is calling! More to come:)

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Fabulous Four

If you've seen KungFu Panda, you're familiar with The Furious Five. Well, The Furious Five have got nothin' on my Fabulous Four!!!! Love 'em, from the tops of their heads to the tips of their toes, each one of 'em! Could eat 'em right up, I really could. And could someone please tell me how to stop Noah from getting so big and old?!?!?! For cryin' in a bucket, it's getting ridiculous! I simply cannot be old enough to have a child who looks so.....OLD!!!! Sheesh!!!!!!

P.S. Like that police car in the background? Either testament to the crime rate in our town or proof that we have great law enforcement. Just depends on whether you're a pessimist or an optimist, I guess!!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You're All That!

How would you feel if your husband came home from work today, wrapped you up in his arms and genuinely and sincerely whispered into your ear that he truly believed you were the mother of all mothers, the wife of all wives, the woman of all women? Would you not grow weak in the knees a bit? Would your heart not swell with his adoration of you? Just imagine if your husband really thought you were all that?!?!

Yesterday morning I was taking a shower (I'm tellin' ya! That's when God always seems to speak the loudest! Maybe because that's when it's the quietest!), and I was 'praying', if that's what you'd like to call it. Just sending up simple thank you's, unflowery "I love You, Lord"s, and unlofty "You are so good, God"s. The phrase "King of kings; Lord of lords" popped into my head and immediately after, that still small voice. "In all of history, there have been 100's of thousands of kings, both literal kings and figurative kings (surely YOU have put something on the throne of YOUR heart a time or two). And there have been just as many, if not more, lords, again both literal and figurative (as I have placed things on the throne of my heart, I have also served unworthy lords, usually titled "Lord Self"). But of all the kings and all the lords of the world, both past, present, and future, some good, some grand, some wretchedly evil, NONE compare to Me." You know when your spirit nods it's head in agreement? Mine was nodding vigorously at this point! He really is King of all kings and Lord of all lords. The kindest of kings, the wisest of lords, they just cannot even compare to Him.
When I say, from my heart, that phrase to the Lord, "You are King of kings and Lord of lords", it does not come to Him as some Christian cliche, some phrase from a worn out worship song. It comes to Him just as if Craig were to come home to me and tell me that in all the world, in all of history, he could not find a wife/mother/woman like me. When I adore the Lord with such words, "You are King of kings and Lord of lords", His royal heart swells with my love and reverence and praise. Duh! Why haven't I realized that before!!!!
Well, Lord, You really are King of kings and Lord of lords! With all my heart, I really know that You are all that....and more!

P.S. Someday, in my spare time (hee hee), I'm going to write a book, a collection of all the insights God gives me in the shower. I'm going to title the book, "Water-Soaked Epiphanies". Want a signed copy? :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

When your kitchen sink is here: You must take your kitchen duties to other corners of the house.
Any one wanna come over for dinner? If so, you're on dish duty!!!!

P.S. The kitchen sink is actually in place now but you don't get to see those pictures until it's all done!!! Hee hee hee:)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rainy Day Dance

Happy #7, Kaleb!!!

On March 20, 2002, a beautiful little boy was born...

His momma kissed his soft little cheeks and fell in love...

And his daddy wipped smitten tears from his eyes...

And then they blinked:

Happy Birthday, Kaleb! I have never been so thankful to celebrate a birthday in my entire life. Son, I love you more than you'll ever know. May the Lord BLESS this next year of your life with His love, grace, and mercy! May He keep you healthy and strong! May He use your life for HIS glory! With so much love....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Lesson on Faith from the Paris Dakar

So my husband was showing the boys video clips of the Paris Dakar this morning. For those who don't know what that is, as I didn't, it is an off-road automobile endurance race where drivers put the pedal to the metal in the middle of barren deserts and the such. I was watching over boy shoulders at these crazy people bouncing their rally cars over dunes and deserts, canyons and crevices at speeds that would absolutely cause me to die right there in my seat. One of the clips showed the inside of the rally car as it was racing and I noticed not just the driver but also a passenger, being whipped and bounced about inside the vehicle. "Why do they have a passenger?" I asked Craig. "He gives the driver directions. He is giving him directions the entire time, telling him when there's a turn, which way the turn is, even what degree the turn is.". Wow! "Really?" I asked. "Boy, you'd sure have to trust your co-pilot!"

And isn't it just like that with God? There He sits, on His heavenly throne and yet right at our side, too. In His infinite wisdom, He's guiding us constantly,directing us to turn here, stay on course there, warning us of danger ahead. But what good is His guiding if we don't trust Him enough to follow His directions? What good is the co-pilot if the driver doesn't trust him enough to turn when he says turn, stay straight when he says stay straight, etc.?

Hmmmm... A new word picture for faith. You know how I love word pictures (smile)!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

In Sickness and in Health

In Sickness...
And in Health...
Sarah Gracie Goo is feeling much better these days! I tell ya, this girl's a hoot. Ornery as all get out and sweet as a Georgia peach, all wrapped up in one half-pint sized body.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Housewife

"It is my belief that the housewife makes the home,
...and the home makes the nation"
~Mrs. Caroline Dunwoody

Mrs. Dunwoody's Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping

I Hope You Dance

"I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean..."

"Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance..."

"And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance...
I hope you dance"

(Lyrics from "I Hope You Dance", by Lee Ann Womack)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Another Miscellaneous Post

Are you all familiar with Pandora? Our computer is our media center so this online radio station(s) is right up our alley. Just plug in your favorite artist and they create a play list for you with that artist as well as others like him/her/them. Wonderful!!!

Yesterday I participated in my first ever bazaar, of sorts. A community-wide baby shower sponsored by our local hospital, I offered slings and hooded bath towels and clothespin aprons (renamed "Momma Apron" in honor of the event) at my booth. It was fun but the day was spent counting the minutes until I could get back to my feverish little Sarah. My mom and dad held her close while I was gone, which I was so grateful for, but really, I could not breath easy until it was my arms holding her. Life's timing is interesting, isn't it?

Last night, while rocking my wee one, I watched the documentary, "A Walk to Beautiful". You can watch it instantly on Netflix. Here is the summary from Netflix: "In Ethiopia, a country with few hospitals and even fewer roads that lead to them, five women are on a journey to rebuild their lives after suffering devastating losses in childbirth. When the women survive but their babies do not, they are summarily shunned by their families. Now, they must make their way to a hospital in Addis Ababa, where they hope to receive treatment for fistula, a condition caused by obstructed labor during childbirth." It lasts less than an hour and was well worth my time, as an ignorant American woman surrounded by so many obstetric and gynecological options it isn't even funny.

This week continues the kitchen remodel, with drills and jigsaws becoming neighbors with pots and pans. Our kitchen sink is visiting in the living room, some lower kitchen cupboards greet us at the foot of our bed in the morning and dishes are done in the bathtub, with two little girls delighted to assist in their cleansing. Remodeling anything in a small house is an adventure!!! I'm so grateful for a husband so willing and able! He continues to blame it all on Thelma (yes, I named her!!!! Of course! Anyone who knows me will not be surprised at all. Those who are surprised ought to get to know me a bit better!!!!), though I know this remodel has been in the works in the back rooms of his mind for quite some time. While he works hard, I will continue to be adaptable and grateful and will find my crock pot even more handy than before! I'd post pictures except that I am too lazy this evening! Soon....

Hope all is well for each of you! God is good and He loves you so very much! I hope you KNOW that; really, really know that.