Monday, April 30, 2007

Beautiful!

Jessica Wright is a lovely photographer. She took our pictures a week or so ago. They turned out so well. Take a look if you have time. Of course, when your children are as gorgeous as mine, it makes the photographer's job easier. ;o)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Relax

Why do I get so nervous sometimes? Why am I so clumsy? And when I am clumsy, why can't I shake that nagging sense of idiocy?

Today, I met Kim's father-in-law and brother-in-law for the first time ever. To make matters worse, Kim had spent quite a while telling them alllll about me. "Oh, she's so funny!" "She's very social... very sweet... very blah-blah-blah." No pressure.

So, once we knew that they were less than 10 minutes away, I broke a new plate, knocked over the vacuum cleaner, stubbed my toe and generally made myself crazy. By the time they pulled in the drive, I was so nervous I felt sick to my stomach. I greeted Scott's dad at the truck and offered to carry something for him. He handed me his nebulizer with the words, "Just don't drop it." My first thought was that Kim had told him about my clumsiness. She hadn't but my nerves frayed just a little more.

I stood in the kitchen, helping Kim cook supper, and talked to Bob (Scott's dad). He and I talked about life, health, etc. The conversation evolved until we were talking about death. Don't ask me how it happened, it just did. Guess what? Mike (Scott's brother) had a son, Shane, who died 2 years ago. What's my theme song again? Oh yeah... John Mayer's My Stupid Mouth.

How did I go from a ball of nerves to the real me? Not easily that's for sure.

Internal conversation as follows:
Stupid!
What is wrong with me? Why can't I just SHUT-UP!?!?!
Wait... no one seems uncomfortable. As a matter of fact, Mike talked for several minutes about Shane. Like he wanted to.
Maybe this is okay.
What is it that Chris says, "You should never be afraid of the truth."
My problem is that I'm trying to impress them. I'm tied up in knots.
Relax. Calm down.
You are the righteous daughter of the Most High. What does anything else matter?
Huh. It doesn't. Not really. Be loving. Speak truth.
RELAX!

And I did. And it was good.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Here is something my Dad emailed to me last week. I found it incredibly encouraging.

Hillary Clinton is running for President and using her gender to raise money at every turn.
Recently, Geraldine Ferraro was brought back from the Land of Misfit Political Candidates to raise money for Hillary by reminding us all that she was the first woman to run on a major party slate . . . if the Mondale candidacy sweeping its way through D.C. and Minnesota counts as major.

Hillary is as earnest as a tooth ache and determined to show all those smug boys from the fifties that she can win. She probably cannot, but it is depressing to watch her try. You have to pity Hillary, married to Bill and trying to look like she doesn’t mind . . . any of it. She wants to be a feminist icon, but if she gets some power in exchange for standing by her man she will be a story as old as Cleopatra.

When the women in the news are Anna Nicole Smith and Hillary a traditional Christian can feel glum about the state of our culture. Both women have been exploited and both have tried to turn that exploitation to their own advantage. Both were obviously unhappy and now one is gone too soon . . . and the other has lonely eyes in a face with a jaw that seems hinged to pour forth platitudes like some sad muppet forced to repeat lines written by a handler.

Whenever I feel very bad, I make sure to speak to home school mothers. These women represent something new. They are not feminists, a phrase they most often reject with scorn. Most live in very traditional households where the husband is the head of the family. However, they are certainly not Donna Reed door mats waiting at home in pearls and high heels for their lord and master to arrive home. They are very strong and fiercely opinionated. They are incredibly well read, devouring more books a year than most U.C. students read in four years. Book a talk with a Plato scholar to hear about big ideas and they show up.

So what are they? They remind me most of the strong women of my great-grandmother’s generation in West Virginia, who could run a farm, fix the roof, write hymns for the church, and who had never heard of bulimia. They did not worry about their body image, because they were secure in the love of their strong men, none of whom would have been allowed a metrosexual makeover if they had wanted it. Those strong women could never have burned a bra, because they never bothered trying to wear pin up girl underwear. Ask those women what they thought and you heard more than you wanted to hear. I knew a few of these women, the last of the old pioneer stock, but only when they were old and tired.

The home school mothers of California are not old. Sometimes their brutal schedules may make them tired, but they are up for more in the morning. When I talk to them I quickly realize, they care more about idea than rhetoric. These women solve problems every day. They educate their children in highly creative ways, inventing curriculum, programs, and social events out of nothing but their talent. They are neither dowdy nor fashion conscious. Their dress is most often sensible, but feminine. They innovate, but within the bounds of tradition. What are they? God bless us, they are ladies, a group many thought had gone extinct around the time of the sinking of Titanic.

In one sense, their lives are a bloodless martyrdom. The media mostly forgets them except for the occasional condescending piece in the Times. They fit no stereotypes, being too numerous and too interesting, so they are ignored. They sacrifice for the welfare of their children.

Talents that could vitalize a corporate board room are turned to teaching children to read. Their children, of course, take such sacrifice for granted. Their mothers make it safe for them to be blissfully unaware of their blessings. So these strong women sacrifice everything our culture deems important. They have no resume inflating career. Yet they give new life and meaning to all the Victorian platitudes lodged, because they are true, in the back of all our minds. “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”

These are kitchen table Socrates. They don’t trust the government schools that spend billions to produce cookie cutter children. These women use cookie cutters on cookies not children. Like Socrates, they despise uniformity in education and people who teach for money and not love of students . Their children are producing reams of stories, hours of music, original plays, and a whole new civilization. If our boys are overseas defending the West, these women are home renewing it.

Home school mothers are the heart of a traditionalist revolution that is driving life back into the homes. To these women, and the men blessed to be married to them, homes are no longer assets or places to share a microwave dinner at the end of an exhausting day of separation. Spreading like some beneficial virus, men and women are returning basic educational, economic, and social functions to home where they have always belonged.

A great poet was brought to see God through the example of one godly woman. Dante had his Beatrice and it was enough. It is harder for men in our materialistic age, so God has raised up thousands of such women. It is time to take a good hard look at what these heroes without epic poets are doing in quiet. I put very little trust in princes, whether elected or not. Rather, if the oldest stories are true the fate of the Republic rests more with these home school mothers.
There are now millions of these strong, independent, God fearing women in the United States. They ask nothing of government, but to be left alone.

These women are not impressed with stardom and glamor, many do not even own televisions. Their men work long hours in their own, often not very glamorous, businesses so that their wives can save the West. The men they admire get things done with decency and honor. They are often quiet men, but as sound as the state credit used to be. Their wives chose them for their virtues, not their muscles. Home school mothers are fiercely liberated and proudly traditional.

Seeing God in Beatrice allowed Dante to find his way back from darkness. Seeing God in these home school mothers could show any man the way back to decency and honor. I know, because I am married to a home school mother and she fires my imagination, gives me hope, and is educating the future of our line.

Mayhaps the West is in for difficult days . . . I could be wrong and Hillary might win, but I would still bet the children of the Beatrice Brigade will prevail in the end. The sacrifice of such matrons cannot be for nothing . . . and there is more real life in one of their questions than I have ever heard in a Hillary listening tour.

Take heart gentleman. They are out there, our Beatrice Brigade, doing the work of civilizing the next generation of culture warriors. My wife, I realized one day, was to me the Fairest Flower in all of Christendom . . . and so she is and so every Beatrice is to the one who sees her well. The land, every corner of it, are filled with such gentle souls . . fair flowers of Christ’s kingdom doing God’s work for God’s pay.

Thank you.

Written by John Mark Reynolds
Posted on http://www.scriptoriumdaily.com/

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Maggie and Brody

I have to fight just to keep Brody from turning into a total brat. Maggie babies him way to much. She and I are having a talk shortly.

Today, she carried him around in a laundry basket for hours because "his feet can't touch the ground." Why? "Because he's the king." She then proceeded to yell at anyone who "turned their back on the king". I know that she does it as play but he's gonna get a complex.

After his bath tonight, she gave him a lotion massage. And he lay on the couch and let her. Good grief!

Friday, April 13, 2007

For Jawan

Okay, Jawan... you're right, it is time for a new post. But you almost gave me a heart attack. You, oh pregnant friend, should not send me an email with "It's time" in the subject line. Not funny. ;o)

Due to many unforseen hormone changes over the past few weeks, I've been a little emotional. I'm either way to energetic to sit at the computer or I'm blah and have nothing to say. That might be t.m.i. for some of you but that's just the way of things right now.

My lovely friend KimHill was robbed this week. It made me very angry. Their house in Roebuck that's been on the market for over a year had all of it's copper plumbing stolen.

We went camping last week and got rained on.

My mom's birthday was Easter Sunday.

What do all of these things have in common? My inability to trust God with my discomfort and pain. My mantra this week has been "That's not fair." I've really struggled. I want to, at the very least, be able to understand why God has done some of the things that He has done. I've struggled with some anger this week.

And then, the other night as I lay trying to go to sleep, fighting God, I had a dream. Maybe it was a vision, I'm not sure. Anyway, I'll describe it:

The wind was blowing strong and steady. I got the impression of being in Tibet, lush and green. I was standing just outside a line of trees, looking out over a wide open grassy place. In the midst of this open place was a well worn path. It wound it's way up the side of a tall mountain. As I watched, I could see a long, long line of people. Most of these people were either holding a baby or helping a sick or elderly person. The journey was long and the line unending. But the people were steadily plodding their way up the mountian. I walked past them, looking for what they were seeking. When I neared the top, I passed several tall statues that resembled the Easter Island statues. The people got quiet as they passed them. At the top of the mountain, in the midst of dozens of 'priests' stood a beautiful woman. I realized in my dream that she was a goddess of some sort. The people were bringing their babies and sick to her for her to bless them. I was overwhelmed with a deep sense a futility. They were seeking life from an idol, healing from a god in their own image. Pointless. And then, I heard God's voice...

and all He said was "This is what you really want. This is what you want me to be."

I really was shocked. No! That's not what I want at all, I insisted. But He reminded me that when He acted like the God that He is , the I Am, it made me angry. I wouldn't submit to His meticulously providential will. I wanted Him to be something that I could understand. A god that makes sense. A god that conforms to my will.

I was soundly reprimanded. Scolded. Humbled. He is so much bigger than my imagination that my mind rebels against the very thought of Him. Does that make Him less God? Just because I forget Him, does He cease to exist? Just because I disagree with His plan, does He lose power? Absolutely not!!!

I am left with a deep and abiding sense of protection. He is God. His vastness is all encompassing. His power is beyond understanding. And His love is consuming. And when I am consumed, I am alive. When I am consumed, I become who I really am.