31 October 2008

and then You passed by~

As the weekend begins, plans are made, schedules are filled, and the holiday season is about to begin, take a minute to stop over at Holy Experience and read Ann's post ...and then You passed by.

I pray that while our family is away from the busy-ness of life, we can take many moments to stop and see Him, the One we will one day see clearly...

And may you stop, and still your spirit, and see.

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30 October 2008

over the river and through the woods~

...to the great Smoky Mountains we go...

Upon my release back into real life last week (the hemorrhage is completely gone, yay God!), Glen promptly planned a camping trip. Poor guy. He neglected to factor in the fact that although I may be *allowed* to resume real life, I am still pregnant and tired. He's going to have a ton of laundry to do when we return. Actually, I'm all for it, but I told him last night I'm choosing to think of it in that hazy "camping is fun" sort of mental fog and not think about all the details...like it's a ton of work and I sure hope Haven takes to sleeping in a pop up. For three nights. (I think I need a what was i thinking category.)

I've been teasing him for a few weeks now because he sold a couple of his work trailers and used the money to buy a pop up camper. We didn't think we'd get to go this year due to the whole bedrest thing, so he's been spending large amounts of time prepping it and getting all our gear stored in it (read: pretending we're going camping) He even slept out there with the kids one night. Now, we've been full fledged tent campers for several years now, but he felt that with our every growing family we needed a pop up he wanted a new toy. I kind of think you're not a *real* camper if you don't stay in a tent, I mean, I've gone tent camping several times within a month of delivering a baby, and even gone camping with a newborn, but you know, whatever. A gas heater with a thermostat will surely be appreciated these next three nights in Gatlinburg.

So if you think about it, say a prayer for us. Pray that I survive :o)

See you Sunday.

(unless i decide to check into a nice hotel with a hot tub and wi-fi, then you might hear from me before then. ha ha.)

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29 October 2008

halloween anyone?~

I'm sorry for all the recent "in your face posts." I imagine that if some of you weren't my real life friends, you probably would have quit reading by now :o) Hopefully this (and the following) won't push you over the edge. I have every intention of getting back to real life in the near future. You see, I have this rebellious streak (Sometime remind me to tell the story of how the Lord literally caused my nose ring to disappear. I really liked my nose ring, but I knew that for me it was a rebellion thing. Another story, another day.) Anyway, the Lord has been dealing with me about it, well, really since I was about fourteen, but lately, I've been having to purge some stuff, so I think my frustration is manifesting in a rebellious, in your face kind of attitude. Sometimes, anyway. So, I just want to apologize if my tone has been *off* some lately. I do believe what I write, and some I write for myself, some I feel that I should, and sometimes I'm just venting. I'm not apologizing for what I believe, but I am sorry if I've come across in a not-so-Christian way.

That said, I think I may have offended some in the last post. No comments? Maybe some will come through in the next few days. I really *do* want to hear what other people's thoughts and feelings are on the topic. I did admit up front that I struggle with judgment in this area. If that causes you to judge me, okay. Sorry. If we're all honest with ourselves, I imagine we could admit we all struggle with judgment in some area, that happens to be mine. But please know that if you're my real life friend and you don't homeschool, I love you dearly, and I'm not thinking of it every time I see you, not even most of the time I see you :o) (why do i feel that i'm just digging my grave deeper and deeper?)

So, you've probably figured out by now that Halloween is another one of those ways we're extreme. We don't celebrate it. We don't even participate in *churchy* stuff because we feel it's still participating but pretending we're not. Like mostly everything else in my life, there's a story behind it. (Glen teases me endlessly about how I have a story for everything.)

My family growing up celebrated Halloween in a big way. My Mom decorated inside and out. We had Halloween coming out our ears, our cabinets, our car. You get the picture. Sometime between Halloween of my second and third grade years, something happened (I've never actually asked her, I probably should. I'm curious now.) to cause her and my dad to believe we were participating in a holiday that had evil origins, and in light of God telling us in no uncertain terms to flee from evil, be different from the world, have nothing to do with the appearance of evil, etc. we stopped celebrating it cold turkey. I remember my Mom explaining to us they felt they had been sinning by participating, throwing away everything related (she wouldn't even give it away), and my third grade year I got picked up from school early on Halloween party day. And we went to a Christian school. Trust me, I was the weird one. We were the *only* ones who didn't do Halloween. In future years, we just got to skip the whole day.

Glen's family never celebrated Halloween growing up, so when we got married, it was kind of a non-issue. That is, until the people we *did* know that didn't celebrate started um, giving in, for lack of a better way to put it. Even our kids' cousins. This was the hardest thing for me, explaining to our children why their cousins, who once said they believed it was wrong were now saying it was okay. Even worse, they weren't even real clear about the whole thing. It was more of a "we just wanted to do it this year" sort of decision without even a clear "we've thought/prayed about it and feel it's okay." Now how do you explain that? We now know of one other family that doesn't celebrate. That's it. Even at NewSong, a Christian homeschool tutorial, last year during chapel, the leader said "stand up if you're going trick or treating tonight!" And guess who the three children were that were sitting down and getting stared at. Ugh. Is something wrong with us? Are we too *extreme*? All I know is we believe what we believe, and if anything, the whole Halloween issue with our children has taught them mainly how to stand firm by your convictions when everyone else around you believes something different.

I have this love/hate relationship with October. It is one of my favorite months, weather wise. We have an absolutely gorgeous view out of our living room windows, it takes us 15 minutes to get out of the back roads to the main road, so we are surrounded by beautiful scenery this time of year. On the other hand, Halloween decorations are everywhere. And not even the cutesy kind, everywhere from Target to the grocery to gas stations have skeletons in cages hanging by handcuffs, RIP graves, and just generally gory, death related decorations. What is up with that? My kids hate it! They turn their heads and are generally frightened and turn close into me while walking past. They still ask several times every year *why* we don't get to dress up and get candy, and can we please, but even through their desire to do the fun stuff, their little spirits are troubled by the obsession with death that surrounds the holiday.

I know part of what happened to my Mom to cause her to be convicted was her learning about how Halloween is the most sacred day of witches, and even worse, those involved in the occult in a deeper, darker level. I remember her telling us about how people that worshipped Satan would sacrifice animals, and even children on this day. She would spend every Halloween in tears, deeply grieved, and obviously troubled. She would get together with some friends to pray throughout the entire night. This kind of said a lot to me. I get the arguments about just doing the fun stuff, no scary costumes, we're not participating in the evil part, being the *weird Christians*, etc. but for us it comes back to the numerous scripture that tells us to have no participation with evil, even the appearance of evil. And you would be hard pressed to convince me that the holiday doesn't have evil origins, connotations, rituals, and just a generally evil and oppressive spirit hanging about it.

We're not complete meanies toward our kids though. We do generally try and do something fun. One year we bought a bunch of candy and had a scavenger hunt in the house. Last year we took them to eat Hibachi. We were the only ones there, and the chef put on a huge show for them. This year we're going to be camping, and while I know the campground is doing a *non scary* Halloween night, we're going to find some alternative.

To end, these are some of the Scriptures that have spoken to us about participating and what we can point our children to when asked, yet again, why we don't participate. As always, I would encourage you to read them and consider them with a spirit willing to hear should the Lord be wanting to say something. Would you embarrassed if Jesus showed up at your house on Halloween right as you were dressing up and getting ready to go out? No? Great. This very well could be one of those issues that is okay for some, if your faith genuinely allows you to participate, and sin for those that participate if the Lord is trying to talk to you about it and you just don't want to listen. Maybe so, maybe not. For us, we have a conviction that to participate would be sin, so we teach our kids it's one of those things where we're in the world, but not of it, and that being a Christian isn't always easy and our beliefs aren't always fun or popular.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 ~ "Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." KJV reads, "avoid every appearance of evil."

James 1:27 ~ "keep oneself from being polluted by the world"

3 John 1:11 ~ "do not imitate what is evil"

Romans 12:9 ~ "Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good."

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 ~ "Do not learn to imitate detestable ways, including spiritists, sorcerers and witchcraft"

Ephesians 5:11-12 ~ "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness"and "live as children of light"

1 Timothy 4:1 ~ Don't "follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons"

1 Corinthians 10:20-21 ~ "I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons."

1 Corinthians 10:22 ~ but "everything is permissible" - but not everything is beneficial or constructive.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 ~ "what fellowship can light have with darkness?"

James 4:7-8 ~ "submit yourselves to God / resist the devil / purify your hearts"

Ezekiel 44:23 ~ "…teach my people… to distinguish between the unclean and the clean."

Matthew 18:6 ~ "if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin…"

Hosea 4:6 ~ "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."

John 3:19-20 ~ "people love darkness instead of light"

Romans 13:12 ~ "put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light."

Ephesians 6:11-18 ~ "take your stand against the devil's schemes."

1 John 5:19 ~ "We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one."

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27 October 2008

homeschooling in light of Psalm 1~

My MOMYS friend, Misti, brought up an interesting scripture to ponder in light of homeschooling. This is a scripture that most of us are familiar with, I even remember memorizing it in church as a child. While it has great thoughts and wisdom for evaluating how we walk through life, and who and what we allow to be our primary influences, it never occurred to me that it can speak volumes in the choice we make in regards to how and where we educate our children.

Psalm 1
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

What does this mean for us as parents when it comes to educating our children? Not only educating, but how, and to what extent we "shelter" them? What does this say?
To me, it says this:
My children will be blessed by not being in the counsel of the ungodly, by not standing in the path of sinners, by not sitting in the seat of the scornful.
Who would argue that when a child is immersed in a classroom filled with peers, that the majority of time, they are walking in the counsel of the ungodly? Who are they asking for advice, whose opinions are they learning to value? Mine, or their peers' and a teachers' who may or may not have the same beliefs and values we want to impart? Even if one is lucky enough to have a teacher who is a Christian, their influence is going to be limited to morals only, no Biblical examples or discipleship allowed.
If my children were in a school setting, they would be surrounded, eight hours per day, by children largely left to their own devices. No one is there on the playground to guide them in righteousness, in kindness toward others, in purity, in seeking truth and learning to love the Lord. Take a moment to close your eyes and think back on your school experience. Were you peers encouraging you toward godliness, or caught up in the things of the world? How would your life have looked had you had godly parents that put your learning the Word of the Lord and learning His ways the main focus of their day? (I am not saying that homeschoolers have a perfect experience, far from the truth. I am also not saying that just because you had Christian parents that chose to send you to school, be it public, private, or "Christian" that they didn't love you as much as they should have, I'm just making a point that godly parents, fully aware they are sinners saved by grace, being a child's primary influence vs. peer influence is huge. And I had all three school experiences. Public, private Christian (trust me, not all it's cracked up to be, the sin is just hidden and God is mocked in private), and homeschooled.) In my opinion, putting my child in school is placing them square in the path of sinners. Yes, of course I am a sinner as well, but in the face of sin, I can repent, ask forgiveness, and acknowledge sin as sin in the light of God's Word.
And where else in our culture is the seat of the scornful (toward Biblical teaching and truth) if not our academic institutions? Maybe not so much at the elementary level (although that could largely depend on where you live), but the level of mockery and scorn toward Biblical truth increases the higher up in the education system you go. All of us have heard the stories of middle schoolers, high schoolers, university students being mocked for taking a stand for their Christian beliefs. Just the label of "Christian" invites the insults to flow. I have even heard of elementary age students being openly mocked in class for questioning the political correct "teaching" of their teachers. God help us as this current generation comes of age and steps into the realm of influence.

My children will be blessed if their delight is in the law of the Lord, and if they meditate on that truth day and night.
One of the things the Lord has opened up to me more and more the further I get into homeschooling, is that the teaching of His Word, and the discipleship of my children in His ways is to be my number one priority. Bible time needs to happen if nothing else does. His calling to keep my children at home and be their teacher has pretty much zero to do with my ability to be a superior academic teacher and everything to do with sheltering them (defensive) and bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (offensive.) Academics are hugely important if I want my children to be respected and have the ability to be an influential leader in whatever realm the Lord places them. So we don't discount academics, we just believe that when He says to "seek first His Kingdom and all these things will be added" that it's a pretty clear priority list.

As my children grow into adolescence and on into adulthood, if their delight is in the law of the Lord (they value what His Word says above what the world or their peers would tell them), and if they choose to meditate on it day and night (ponder it and allow it to be their primary influence), then they will be like a tree planted by streams of water that brings forth its fruit in season, whose leaves will not wither, and whatever they do shall prosper.
Pretty self explanatory. I want this for my children. And I believe the best way to accomplish the impartation of this wisdom and these values is by homeschooling. Can children grow up in public or private schools and walk with the Lord? Sure. Absolutely. Do homeschooled kids "go bad?" Sure. That's why it all comes back to the grace of God, knowing it's not about me, and that it's all about Him. It's why I plead for His grace, His mercy, His wisdom, His insight, His understanding, and His guidance on a daily, if not literally hourly basis.
But I would encourage you to evaluate the educational setting your children are in in light of Psalm 1. And not only the educational setting. What are they watching? What are they listening to? Who are they playing with for large amounts of time without your careful supervision? Would the Lord have anything to say to you? Do you have ears to hear? Are you willing to follow Him even if His leading goes to a different path than you would prefer? Are you willing to do the hard thing? I'm not saying that the path we have chosen as a family is right (though I believe it is) and you are in blatant sin if you choose differently than we do, but I want to encourage you to seek the Lord's heart for *your* family, and be willing to follow Him, regardless of cost.
So many of us that grew up in the church went through some point where we considered missions. "Yes, Lord! I'll follow you! You want me to go to India and serve in the slums? Sure thing!" Or some variation of that. What about, "Yes, Lord. I'll change diapers for years on end, clean up spilled milk, drown in laundry, endure sleepless nights and long for adult conversation. I'll love you with my whole heart and demonstrate that passion for you on a daily basis so that these little ones will grow up surrounded by the presence of the Lord and learn that intimacy with Him, and knowing Him is to valued above all else. I'll keep them home so they can learn these things and see them walked out hourly. I'll sacrifice lunch with friends, shopping, having a spotless house, having "me" time in abundance, and my personal agenda, even career, to raise up little ones that You can use in ways I can't even imagine." Or some variation of that.
I have many friends that have chosen to put their children in school, for one reason or another. Some of them have given up. Homescooling was too hard. (There, but for the grace of God, go I. I am not judging.) Some of them feel the Mom needs to work. (Again, no judgement.) Some feel that it truly is in their children's best interest to grow up with diverse social and cultural experiences, and one way that is accomplished is through a school setting. Some are afraid of what homeschooling will *do* to their children. Some have no idea its really an option, and some just don't care. Back to what I said earlier, I just want to encourage us to seek the Lord with a willing spirit, and listen to what He has to say. Do I have areas in my life where I still hold my ears all while saying "Here I am God, I'm listening" and want to pretend I'm not seeing where I need to change? Yes, I do. I can even tell you what a couple of them are. I never want to stand on my soapbox of perfection and tell everyone else they need to get it together. I just want to encourage all of us (myself included) in this messy process of sanctification and staying on the straight and narrow. Following Him whose life was anything but cake and featherbeds.
And really quickly I want to address one thing again, and ask a quick question of those of you that have chosen to not homeschool and are fully convinced you are walking in the path God desires for you.
So really quickly, I wanted to bring up again the point that in the Bible we are to be salt and light, and that Jesus Himself ate with sinners and sought them out. My firm belief in these things are that this does not apply to our impressionable children. The Bible clearly speaks of children being brought up by their parents in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, learning the ways of the Lord as they walk along the road, lie down, etc. I do not believe children are the ones being called to be salt and light in every day life. And as far as Jesus is concerned, He was released into ministry at the age of thirty, after He had been baptized, and tested in the wilderness, being found faithful. Only then did the Father release Him into His ministry.
Any my question is honest. It's not meant to provoke or incite division, I have truly been thinking about it in the recent months. Please hear my heart. It's hard for me, because I know without a doubt that the Lord has called us to homeschool. I believe in it 100%, and honestly, don't understand how Christians can send their children away every day. Yet as I said earlier, I have many friends, friends that I know love the Lord and love their children, that have chosen to put their children in public or private school. So my question is what has the Lord told you or said to you to cause you to believe this is okay? Where do you think I am wrong? I have two friends that I truly believe are doing the right thing by putting their daughters in school as I know it was a difficult choice (they previously homeschooled), and it was confirmed in several different ways. These girls have a wisdom and maturity beyond their years. They are being used as salt and light, and let me tell you, it is not easy for them. But I definitely believe they are the exception.
So for everyone else, I always wonder. I know this question comes about because I believe in homeschooling so strongly. Honestly, I would really just like a little insight. It is hard for me not to judge sometimes (although I really love and respect all these people), so I guess I'm just asking for a little peek into your thought process and beliefs. I want to understand. I used to know so many people that homeschooled, in my circle it was more common than not, but over the years, more and more people have "given up." (And most of them will freely admit this so I'm not making an outside judgement.) Some say the Lord had different plans for their family for the current year (I know few that ever go back to homeschooling once tasting the freedom), and some say they take it year by year. Okay. My question is: Where do you see in the Bible that sending your children out like sheep among wolves is okay, is justified, or is the Lord's will? I only see protection, nurture, shelter. What has He said to you to cause you to believe His desire for your children is something other than homeschooling? In what ways has He confirmed this? What did/does that decision making process look like for you?
...stepping off my soapbox, watching the worms crawling out of the can...

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20 October 2008

on trusting Him~

I have to apologize for not getting to this more quickly. I had hoped to get to this a good week ago, but such is life.

HC asked,

"I did want to ask you something...if I may be so forward with you!  First, a little, background:

After being on the pill for 3 years or so, and after learning from reading blogs such as Generation Cedar, and doing research, my husband and I were appalled to find out the pill is an abortificant. So, after prayer, we decided to quit taking it.

Since our youngest was born (4 y.o.), we have both struggled with the "do we want to have more" question. (We have 6 ages 14-4). Weighing in the financial factor, the time, energy, etc.. After quitting the pill, we decided to dedicate my womb and our family size to God. Can I tell you the peace and relief that I, myself, felt knowing this decision was out of my hands-that our God is all knowing and our provider!

I have since had one cycle.

Now then, I have settled in to the idea that we may have another blessing. In fact, I WISH/HOPE/OBSESS over it! My fear is that maybe He doesn't wish for us to have anymore. I don't know how I will deal with the disappointment of not having another, now that I know it is much more possible not practicing any b.c.!

My question (sorry it took this long to get to it!) is this, after you have this newest baby, knowing how much you desire more, how will you deal with God saying, "You are done."?

ANY advice you could give would be greatly appreciated! (Also, if you could tell me that we will indeed have another baby-that would be great too! :p)

I had to laugh at the part over obsessing. You should have seen me during the month where I thought there was a very good possibility I would conceive. The two months prior, Glen had said he wanted to at least give it a little more time before possibly having another baby. So once he was okay to face the very good probability that we would get pregnant, I was what you call *obsessed*. At the risk of sharing too much information and making myself look like a complete dork, I'll tell you that the morning after *you know* and knowing it was my prime time for conception (and yes, Glen knew this too!) I was up early analyzing my cycle lengths, comparing it to my past experiences and dates of conception, googling things like how soon could I have a positive test, the chances of boy vs. girl depending on when conception occurs, and all sorts of things. I went on and on for days. Then, when that magic "earliest day possible to find out" arrived, I started testing every morning. It was a very good thing I discovered Dollar Tree tests, otherwise it would have had to become a budgeted item! I don't think you people understand how much I like being pregnant and having babies :o) Now that you've had a good glimpse of what I'm really like, you can understand a little better how this can be hard for me!

I will admit, I have put this off answering your question a little for two reasons, one being it is such a hard question for me. It's one of my fears. So far, every time I've wanted to be pregnant again, I've soon been pregnant again. I've never had to deal with longing unfulfilled for very long. Even when Glen has been overwhelmed, or wanted to wait, or even contemplated being "permanently done," the Lord has spoken to him specifically telling him we need to have another one (that's what happened with Noah), or just changed his heart toward it for now. He's not had change of fundamental belief. The other reason being that honestly, I just don't know how I will deal with it. I would like to say that it will be totally fine and will not bother me one little bit, that I can fully rest in God's will for me, being joyful and content in all things. But truthfully, I just don't know. I don't want to be so prideful and self righteous as to presume I would respond well, I can just ask Him to please help me. Isn't that how it is in all matters related to trusting the Father when His will and desires conflict with our own?

I am again reminded of what I know was a huge turning point for me in my relationship with God. I wrote about before how I had to deal with my fear that God wanted something different from me than being a wife and mother. Once I came to a place (and it was a struggle!) of being able to say I would follow His will and trust Him, I was at peace, even though I didn't know what would happen. I am firmly convinced that on that day I came to a fork in the road, so to speak, where I had to make a choice in whether I was *really* going to follow God, or if I was going to follow Him in word only, but fight for my way and go kicking and screaming if I wasn't getting what I wanted.

What a blessing that you and your husband are on the same page with this! That is the hardest thing for me when it comes to this topic. I've talked about it several times, so I'll only bring it up again briefly. Glen and I have a wonderful marriage, we are truly best friends and prefer spending our time together rather than apart, and we have lots of fun together, but this is the one issue that is always there. The intensity of it ebbs and flows, obviously it's a non-issue right now, and even though it doesn't cause huge waves, it's such a huge decision and fundamental difference, that is can be quite painful at times. And I can honestly say that the part that hurts is just that we're not in unity, it has very little to do with me "not-getting-what-I-want." I am so used to be in agreement in everything that this difference is really hard.

That said, my answer comes from dealing with this side of it as well. I know that unless one of us changes, this is going to come up again. Thankfully, I know that Glen follows the Lord, even when it's hard, and even when it's not what his flesh would want. I've seen it over and over, and in so many areas, one of those areas being this one, so I hope I can rest in that. Even though I have a "belief" that the Lord should be in control, that we should allow Him to decide if and when we should have another child,
my beliefs come from what He says about children and how He expects us to offer our bodies to Him and how to tells us to trust Him in every area of our lives. The Bible does not say specifically, in black and white, that using birth control is wrong. But He does tell me specifically, in no uncertain terms, to honor Glen and yes, the "s" word, even submit. So that tells me that by following my husband, I am in the Lord's will. I have had much more peace since I realized it was not my job to change his mind and heart with my words, my arguments, and my nagging...it is God's job to change hearts. And I don't even want to presume that *I* have it all together and know everything, that *I* know the mind of God and Glen needs to get it together. My prayers concerning this are for God to bring us into agreement, and bring both of our hearts and beliefs into alignment with His truth, His will, and His desire for our family. Trusting Glen's decisions are made easier for me since I know Glen loves me and cares about what I believe, and even what I want. And even more so because I know He loves the Lord with his whole heart. I can't imagine having to deal with this if my husband didn't care to listen to what God had to say about it.

So, I'm not sure that I really answered the question. I guess my answer really is that I don't know how I'll deal with it. I've asked the Lord many times to please take away the desire for more when I am *done.* To just let me feel done and ready to move into the next stage of life. I asked a friend of mine at church that has eight, her youngest now being five or six, how she dealt with it. She said they never felt *done* before, but after their eighth, she was peaceful, and just *felt* done. I hope that's what it will be like for me. It's no fun to not get what you want :o) Like I said earlier, I hope that should I get to a place where I'm wanting more, but the Lord is saying no, either by not allowing me to conceive, or by having to honor Glen's desire, that I will be an example of grace and trust. I know the way I deal with it will speak volumes to my children, and possibly even those around me, as does any area where we make a choice to follow the Lord's will or go our own way.

I often tell my children that God knows what's best for our family.  I know that's true.  I teach them that following the Lord's will ultimately, eternally results in peace and blessing, although the path may not always be fun.  I have a choice every day on how to live this out in day to day life.  I can choose to be peaceful and joyfully submit to God and my husband, I can choose to submit while obviously being unhappy and having a rebellious spirit, or I can outright rebel. 

Proverbs 14:1 says, "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands, the foolish one tears hers down." The strength of our homes, our marriages, our relationships with our husbands, the peace in our homes, the stability and security of our children, often rests with us as women. It so often comes back to that choice we have every day in how we're going to deal with life. How we're going to deal with differences between us and our husbands. It is far better and much more valuable to keep peace and honor within our spirits and our homes, to model this for our children, than to grumble, complain, and be discontent. And this is true whether our frustration is coming from a difference between me and my husband, or between me and God. And as much as it is not fun for me, it is imperative that my children learn to follow God even when it's not fun. And what better way to lead than by example, that's what discipleship is all about.

I had hoped to give some answer to your question that was full of Scripture and godly wisdom, I don't feel that I've really done it justice. My answer feels like it's really one very long "I don't know." I can only encourage you to grow close enough and intimate enough with the Father that should He gently tell you "no more," that you can rest in His arms, knowing that He loves you with an everlasting love, and only desires and plans good for you. Does this mean you have to be really happy? No, of course not. I imagine that should I ever come to a place of having to deal with this head-on, that I will grieve.

I know several women who long to have more children, or even one child, but for some reason we will probably never understand this side of heaven, the answer for them so far has been no. Of all the women that I personally know that have dealt with, or are dealing with it, each one has chosen to grow closer to God rather than close off their hearts toward Him. Sure, they get angry, and cry, and don't understand, but they know that walking with Him is worth it, that He is trustworthy, and that He loves them. You know this too, I believe. So while I can't tell you what I would definitely would do, I can encourage you to stay with Him, and to stay close.

You are young, though. I sincerely hope, and pray(!) that you will be sharing some exciting news with us soon :o)

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16 October 2008

i love it...
2008 october~

Moments I Love~

~Ever since weaning Noah last month, he still comes down in the mornings at the same time he used to nurse. Now, instead, he cuddles up as close as he can possibly get, takes my face in his hands, turns it toward himself, and goes back to sleep leaving his hands on either side of my face. If I try and turn onto my back or the other direction, he sleepily says, "Look at me, Mommy. I want to see your face."

~At night, before he goes to bed, Noah comes into my room, climbs up on the bed, and tell me to lay down with him so he can "lay his head in my arm." I lay down, and he snuggles up in the crook of my arm. When Glen scoops him up and begins to walk out of the room to take Noah to bed, Noah looks back over Glen's shoulder. I call out, "I love you, Noah." He gives a big grin and says, "I love you, Mommy!" Or sometimes it's the alternate version...."I love you, Noah." "...I love you too, Stinkie Weenie!"

~I love it when Haven is ready for a nap or bedtime and he gets his blanket and starts aimlessly walking around the house, squishing up his blanket and laying down on the floor periodically to let us know he would really prefer to be put in his bed now. And when we do head toward his bed with him, he gets all excited, even more so when the bed actually comes into view. Sometimes, he even starts laughing when we lay him down.

~I love it that Haven still takes two, two hour naps every day.

~I love it that Ethan runs over to me at least once an hour just to give me a kiss.

~I love it that Caleb comes over to me several times every day, and gives me a shy little hug. Because, you know, eight year old hunter boys don't need mommy affection anymore...

~I love it that Glen snuck cookies up to the kids the other night when he realized he'd been a little unfair earlier in taking away their dessert.

~I love it that Moriah's best friend at Bethel is a boy.

~I love it when all the kids greet Haven in the mornings like they haven't seen him in months.

~I love it that when asked why he committed a particular offense, Noah replies, "Because I want to." As if that's the perfect reasoning for everything.

~I love it that Anna wants so badly to do what's right.

~I love it that all my kids spent an entire day last week playing in the gigantic mud puddle/pond after it rained so hard. They even went "gasp" underwater under mudwater(?)

~I love it that Caleb tried to jump off the roof. That's what boys are supposed to do.

~I love it that Ethan reads anything in sight.

~I think it's pretty cool that a skunk lives in our bushes and takes walks with Glen at night.

~I love it that we finally got rid of the horrendous bunk beds.

~I love it that Ethan could play with his animals and sea creatures all day long and forget to eat. Well, maybe not forget to eat.

~I love it that Moriah used to wear dresses with pants, and I wish she still would. *sigh*

~I love it that Glen bought me orange mums for the porch.

~I love it that Friday night is movie night...for me and Glen, and the kids.

~I love it that I have boys that can squish bugs.

~I think it's pretty cool that Caleb tied his crutches to the top of his go cart so they can be rocket launchers.

~I love it that Anna has to give me three kisses every night before bed.

~I love it that when Anna was little, every night we had to sing The Rocking Song, Dear Anna, and Blue Skies and Rainbows...after we read "The Woman Who Couldn't Stand Up Straight" of course.

~I love it that Caleb used to tell Ethan, "Throw your bottle on the floor, Ethan!" and then he'd run over and drink the whole thing himself.

~I love it that when I would fix a bottle for Caleb when he was little, that Anna would want to give it to him so she could say, "Look what Anna made you, Buddy!"

~I love it that when Anna and Caleb were little, we could turn on the U2 song Beautiful Day and they would come running and Caleb would do this hilarious dance where he would punch his arms down while lifting up his knees as high as he could.

~I love it that now we can turn on Johnny Cash and our living room is instantly transformed into a dance floor.

~I love it when I walk into the room to get Haven out of bed and he starts waving and smiling his "I'm the cutest boy ever and you're my favorite person ever" smile.

~I love it that my kids play kickball using trees for bases and the well cover for home plate.

~I love it that my husband really is my best friend.

~I am thankful that the woman I admired most while growing up is now my next door neighbor.

~I love that Ethan could live in his Superman and Batman shirts all year long and not complain once.

~I love it that our church started having a Saturday night service. Now Sunday really is a family day and day of rest.

~I love it that Moriah loves ponytails and baseball hats and I love that her grin looks mischievous, even when it isn't.

~I love it that Moriah can talk Noah and Ethan into playing kitchen and house for hours.

~I love it that I can eat cookies for breakfast if I want because I'm the Mom. I'm pretty nice, though, I either share... or hide :o)

~I love it that Caleb decided to plant his pumpkin plant in the flower bed and grew two surprise pumpkins.

~I love it that my living room windows look out onto a valley with a tall hill on the other side that is currently covered in a splendid array of fall colors.

What do you love?

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15 October 2008

laundry...what works for me~

**Edited 1.2012 - We have added two sweet little ones to our family since I originally wrote this post.  I am glad to say that these things still work for me!  My only new challenge is that my now 13 year old daughter likes to collect her dirty clothes until she has nothing left to wear.  Oh no.  No, no, no.  She can either add to the laundry on a daily basis or she can do it herself.  There's nothing worse than being done with the laundry only to have a gigantic pile of clothes dumped in the doorway.  She had to do it all once and since then I've been noticing more of her stuff on a daily basis.  :)   Oh yeah, and the two oldest boys were having a problem taking care of their room so since they apparently had too much stuff to take care of they are currently living on about a four shirt rotation.  Ah......I'm SO mean.

I've been wanting to address two things that have helped me immensely in just getting the laundry done already.
First of all, if you're like my Dad, and you're very particular about your laundry, read no further, the way I do things is probably not for you. If, on the other hand, you're like me and you just want to get it done, then let us continue...
I know, I know, I make jokes about laundry all the time. The truth is...shhh...I actually really love doing the laundry. It's actually just about my favorite thing to do around here, as far as jobs go. It's extremely satisfying. It has a beginning and and an end. The clothes go in dirty, come out clean. They get sorted, stacked, folded, and they smell good. Well, as long as the diaper trash has been taken out...but I digress.

Don't worry, my counters aren't usually this clean. And the sink, well, it's usually full of stuff that is on its way to the Goodwill. Despite my ocd tendencies, I am barely out of my first trimester and have six kids, people, and I'd much rather take a bath with a good book than make sure the clothes are folded exactly 12 inches across :)

First of all, I have a pretty small laundry room. Especially for someone dealing with laundry for eight (almost nine) ten people and trying to store bulk gluten free purchases from Amazon along with everything else under the sun. I know that it's bigger than some, but it's also much smaller than others. What has helped me more than anything is having Glen install basic shelving all along one wall. It's not pretty, but boy has it changed my life! 
Before the shelves, I was pretty good about getting the laundry done, but all the clean, folded clothes went into laundry baskets, and everyone was forever digging clothes out of the bottom and making a mess. Now, everyone has their space on a shelf, along with a container for holding clean underwear and socks. I'm kind of simplistic in this area, but I don't think my kids need more clothes than can fit in their area at once. Having everything here all together is probably what made it possible for Anna to handle the laundry on her own when she was 10 and I was on bedrest with Grace. 
And it's not only the kids' clothes that stay in here. The bulk of mine and Glen's do as well. We have our nicer clothes hanging up in our closet and out of season stuff, but the majority of our daily clothes stays in the laundry room.
Like I said, if you're really particular about laundry, none of this is going to work for you, it may even make you faint, or at the very least cringe and mark me off your "Wow, she's really cool!" list, but that's okay. It's what-works-for-me. If it helps you out, great, that's the point, but if not, that's okay, too. At least now you know I'm not perfect (as if there was any doubt.)

You can't really tell from the photos, but I basically have enough room to stand between the shelves and the washer/dryer. It's a pretty narrow room. And the brown basket up high...that's where I throw all the kids' stuff I'm getting rid of that I don't want them see....shhhh.
On the bottom shelf, the two blue things are where we throw the dirty clothes. We don't sort, we just toss. If I've let the laundry pile up, then I will sort when I wash, but otherwise I just throw everything in together (unless it's new and full of dye) but typically, I only have one, maybe two, loads waiting to be washed. Sometimes I will gather up all the towels at once, but often we'll have the miscellaneous towel tossed in with the clothes. The laundry basket in the middle of the blue containers is where the clean clothes get tossed when they come out of the dryer. I toss the clean clothes in there, put the clothes from the washer into the dryer, start the next load in the washer, and the I fold the clothes. This is another key for me. I fold the clothes then. If I don't have time to fold, I just don't do the laundry.
Which brings me to my second "what works for me." ~I only do towels or sheets when dirty. I pretty much loathe going upstairs so since re-making the beds involves going upstairs it pretty much doesn't happen until either the guilt peaks or a tummy bug goes through. I know, I know.  I'm terrible.

I'm also blessed that my husband's clothes are very low maintenance.  His entire wardrobe (seriously) consists of polos, jeans, and two pairs of khakis. Being a contractor allows him to pull off the "let's pretend my shirt was totally wrinkle-free earlier but before I came to your house, I was crawling around someone else's crawl space" look. Unless he has an early morning meeting, and then he just digs around to find the most non-wrinkled shirt. (I'm just airing all my dirty laundry here...ha ha...couldn't resist.)  What I'm trying to say is that I just wash, dry and fold.  No ironing.  This wife didn't come with ironing included.

I average needing to do about two loads per day. If I'm really good about it, I can occasionally get by with one. I have a gigantic washer and dryer. My main problem is that the baby's bed is on the other side of the wall from the washer and dryer, and seeing as how naps are the number one priority around here (you think I'm kidding, I'm not,) that causes me to have to arrange laundry around his/her schedule. This means that first thing in the morning and after dinner are my best times to do laundry. The after dinner part is no problem. I love escaping the kitchen disaster while the kids clean it up, disappearing into the laundry room with its clean smells and rows of folded clothes. My problem is that when I first get up, the last thing I want to do is fold clothes. All I want is my tea and computer. And since one of my cardinal laundry rules is that if I don't have time to fold it, I just don't do it, that means the laundry was never getting started in the morning, leaving me to have to fit it in around naptime or bedtime.

So, what to do...
I figured out a little trick that while amazingly simple, has kept the laundry flowing like never before. One of the last things I do at night is fold the clothes out of the dryer. That means that when I get up, all I have to do is throw the clean, wet clothes into the dryer, and start another load in the washer. Simple, I know. But it's what works for me. And since I started doing this, I've not been behind on the laundry once. Try it, you might just find that it works for you too.
(HC, I promise I'm getting to your question. It's somewhat more thought provoking than laundry, so I've kind of been procrastinating, but I promise I'm getting to it!)
And now, if anyone has a "what works for me" when it comes to getting kids to actually put the clothes in the hampers and learning the difference between still clean vs. dirty, I am all ears.

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praying for our children
a quick link~

I found this link through Jennifer, at Homekeeping Heart. She saw it in a Jon and Kate Plus Eight episode. It's a calendar you can print out that has a short scripture to pray over your children (or yourself!) every day. You don't change it out monthly, it's just numbered days 1-31. It's one page, and laid out nicely. I've printed it out to put on my refrigerator.

More to come later today...or at least that's the plan :o)

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12 October 2008

journal: august & september 2008
no soapbox, i promise~

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. For anyone that has started reading (hi!) in the recent weeks, I try and do a recap of each month at the end of the month. My August one turned into a political detour, and I never quite got around to actually doing the journal. Here it is mid-October, so I need to play catch up. The journal is my way of journaling our life around here so that I can look back when I am old(er) and remember what life was really like. I imagine at some point I'll call them the good ol' days, but for now, I'm just calling them "the days are long, the years fly by days."

So, really quick:

August - Have no idea what I did the beginning of the month other than try and get the school year planned out and wonder if I might be pregnant. After awhile, and the arrival of certain events, decided I was not pregnant. Okay. Had a kind of crazy weekend and realized I was feeling off, and wanting naps every day. Surprise, surprise. We are having another baby :o) Quickly realize vacation is coming up super fast and when I return it will be time to start school. Plus I will be far enough along to probably not be feeling so great, so I spent the following week doing massive amounts of cooking. The following week we went to Florida, and other than me being freezing cold the entire time (it was hot there, that is just a very weird pregnancy symptom I get) we had a fabulous time. Came home, finished the school room, began school just in time for me to hit the stage when dragging myself out of bed and having children that were fed and not naked was the hallmark of a successful day. During August and into September, we were also making weekly visits to the orthopaedic doctor for Anna's tendonitis, and one very busy day running around to lots of different doctors making sure Moriah's black eye wasn't anything serious.

Side note. The day after finding out we were expecting, I got in a minor car accident. All it did was slightly dent the bumper on the Suburban. (Poor teenage guy that rear ended me though, it completely crunched in the front of his shiny yellow Mustang.) I had some minor back pain for a few weeks that was taken care of easily with a few weekly visits to the chiropractor. I mention this because I have now been rear ended in three of my seven pregnancies. Every time, there has been minimal damage, and it has resulted in getting large sums of money from the other party's insurance company. God completely used this when I was pregnant with Caleb and Ethan to pay for their births (we just accepted the offered settlement and used it to pay the medical bills instead of repairing the minor damage to the car.) This time, it helped us to finally pay off the rest of our home equity line of credit that we used to help get Glen's business going, and um...well, we used it to just kind of float along, but that's another story for another day. Suffice it to say that it was just ridiculous for us to let it sit around, so we finally got ourselves together to just pay it off. Once we committed to taking care of it, it was really cool to see the Lord provide in different ways. I should also add that Glen was ready to do it a long time ago. I wasn't really against it, I just wasn't motivated to deal with it.

September - Kind of a blur. It involved a scary hemorrhage, that thankfully was not a miscarriage. That sentence is a huge understatement, but all of you know that we are so thankful the Lord protected our little one. September involved lots of laying in bed, laying on the couch, laying in the bathtub, lots of reading, and lots of LOST reruns. September and October are kind of running together in my head, but I think September was when I was on complete bedrest, and it was around the beginning of October that the hemorrhage had shrunk enough to be allowed to do light activity. During this time, I became even more aware of how blessed I am. My children were sweetly helpful, and I am so glad we had spent some time teaching them to do things that ended up highly valuable during this time. The younger kids were all able to do general clean up and putting things where they belong, Moriah and Ethan took over cleaning the table area, while Anna and Caleb took over cleaning the kitchen. Anna also took over the laundry. I am so thankful that Glen's job allows him to basically set his own hours, and that he had recently moved his office back home. I am thankful that my mother in law cares about us and our children so much and was happy to keep the younger kids two days every week. I'm thankful for my Coocal (my aunt who is really more of a mom/aunt/sister in my life) who came out to stay with us two days every week, and for my sister Kristen who spent the night every Monday night, took the kids to their homeschool group, took the two little kids to play, picked up the big kids, and brought them home every Tuesday. But mostly, I am thankful to the Father for being faithful, for providing, and for healing me and preserving our little one's life.

During Septmeber, our church finally began having a Saturday night service, which we have wanted for such a very long time. We were able to go once before I was on bedrest. We missed two weeks, but have attended the last two. We are loving it. It is small, intimate, and allows for Sunday to be a real family day and day of rest.

I guess that's about it. We didn't take a family picture during September, so the one from August down at the bottom of the page is just going to have to last for another month or so :o)

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09 October 2008

my son, the superhero~

It was bound to happen sooner or later...our first "boy" injury. You know, the kind that falls under the "brave, but stupid" category and wins you the award of coolest boy around.

I remember reading Dr. Dobson's Bringing Up Boys soon after it came out. One phrase stuck out to me more than any other, and I've remembered it to this day.

"one of the scariest aspects of raising boys is their tendency to risk life and limb for no good reason...for parents whose families include one or more boys, the greatest challenge may just be keeping them alive through childhood."

I don't remember taking it quite as ominously as it sounds, it actually struck me as rather funny as I vividly remember lying on the couch reading it while Caleb was busily racing around the house flying cars off pieces of furniture as fast and as furious as he could.

Anyway, back to the story. Caleb, my oldest son, my right hand man, master hunter and creator/builder extraordinaire, decided it would be "cool" to jump off the roof. Really. I thought this kind of thing only happened on tv or in books.

We were all quite impressed at the time, and he casually remarked that his foot was kind of sore, but it was off to nap time, and he wasn't crying or anything. I called Glen, we had a good laugh (privately, of course, no use encouraging 3 year old copy cats), and off I went to sleep. Crisis averted.

Oh no. Later, swelling, bruising, tears. So off we went to the ER. One huge orothpaedic boot and a pair of crutches later, we are back at home. And he is thrilled that he has something for show and tell at Bethel on Tuesday. This experience has done nothing as far as life lessons are concerned except for reinforcing the "cool factor" and I am anticipating Anna will be pulling the same stunt in the near future as she has been wanting a "crutch worthy" injury for years. At least she's upfront about it :o) She has already informed me that the top of her closet would be an ideal place for storing the items once Caleb is finished with them.


Parenting Tip #10

Alarms on the upstairs windows might be a worthwhile investment.

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Last night, my wonderful and amazing sister in law, Elizabeth, gave birth to her fifth boy, making him the 18th grandchild on my husband's side of the family. (My side has a lot of catching up to do. Actually, it's pretty much a lost cause. I only have two sisters, Dyana has one little girl, and they probably only want to have two or three. My sister Kristin is not married, and doesn't really think she wants to ever have children of her own, but definitely plans to adopt one day. Rabbit trail...sorry!)

Baby boy is as yet, unnamed. He was born at home around 10:15 last night and weighed 10lbs. A full pound lighter than her last baby. Yep, lighter! She definitely wins the award. One of Glen's sisters has normal sized babies, and his cousins have teeny 5lb babies (at term), but the other three of us have bigger sized babies, but Elizabeth blows us out of the water. She's amazing.

Congratulations, Ben and Elizabeth, on a new little baby boy! It is a privilege for all of us to be in a family with you, and a you are both a huge blessing and inspiration to us all. You are wonderful parents, and the fruit of your relationship with the Father is seen in your lives, as well as the lives of your sweet boys. We love you tremendously!

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08 October 2008

on getting your children to be friends~

Kelly, over at Generation Cedar, a blog that I read regularly, is doing a series on Getting Your Children to Be Friends. She opened it up for questions and comments, and after a couple of posts addressing the topic in general, she is now addressing specific questions. Go over and check it out if the topic interests you.

Last Friday she talked about the idea that one becomes what one is around. She referenced a quote by Dennis Lennon..."That which is known by heart is what the heart knows."

This is one of the many reasons we homeschool. "What about peer influence and socialization?" Well, that is exactly what we are trying to protect our children from! When did the idea that age-segregated, peer influence was to be valued over godly wisdom and life experience? I'm not talking about sheltering and never letting your children be around those that are different, but eight hours a day, five days a week is not exposure, it is immersion. I don't know about you, but I think God intended for godly parents, discipling and raising up their children in the Lord, to be the primary influence on their children. Not peers that may (if you're lucky) or may not have the beliefs and moral values that you desire to pass on to your children.

A few of her thoughts...

"Our children will become like those they are most often around...adopting the worldview most consistently revealed to them."

"During their tender, formative years, peers have enormous influences over their character, attitudes and relationships. Even in small doses, a friend's influence is very weighty, and must be carefully guarded by parents."

"By and large, children are not being taught the commands of God, and have been left to themselves--the resulting product--FOOLS. ("
A companion of fools suffers harm.") The constant care and training of parents toward "loving your neighbor as yourself", as opposed to the opposite peer training of "me first", yields much fruit."

She covers the topic much better and more succinctly than I could, so I would just encourage you to go over and read it. It is short, only takes a couple of minutes and is totally worth it. She does approach it from the viewpoint that the way to accomplish this best is for your children to actually be around each other, but even if you don't believe homeschooling is the way to go, it is very good food for thought as the topic really is "getting your children to be friends." I would actually encourage you to read and follow the entire series and it is full of valuable, practical information, and she always covers topics from a Scriptural point of view, motivating the heart behind the actions, giving weight to the "how to" by addressing the "why."

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03 October 2008

needing some good hymn recommendations~

I grew up in a church that sings hymns. I love hymns. Now, don't get me wrong, I love worship at the church we attend now, and we do sing an occasional hymn, but I miss singing them regularly. I love going back to visit my old church and being there during worship. It's also fun to visit during VBS, but the singing, while loads of fun, just isn't quite the same :o) One of my most vivid memories of sitting through church when I was little is when my friend Heather and I would race to find certain hymns in the book, as quietly as possible...of course.

Some of you know that I am very close to my grandmother as I grew up next door to her, and she often stayed at our house. My very earliest memories are of her rocking me and singing The Old Rugged Cross. Back when I used to actually play my piano, hymns were just about my favorite things to play. Once I was older, I used to play What A Friend We Have in Jesus for my grandmother over and over while she would sing along. Sweet memories.

Hymns have such a rich history. We have a book, Then Sings My Soul, that gives the history behind a lot of the great hymns. Oftentimes, knowing the history and circumstances the hymns was written in, gives even more perspective and depth of meaning. Such as It Is Well. I would love for my children to grow up familar with some of the great ones and be able to enjoy and appreciate them.

I am looking for some really good hymn renditions to put on my ipod. I prefer band or instrumental accompaniament, not just acapella. I tend to prefer men's voices (as with all my gruff little deep voiced boys running around here I don't handle high pitches as well), but if you have a really good version with a woman singing or a chior-type, I can always listen to the sample on itunes. If you have a good acapella version I'm up for that as well. And just instrumental is okay too, I can always sing along!

Some of my favorites that I would really like to find some good versions of...

All to Jesus I Surrender

Blessed Assurance

Come, Ye that Love the Lord

Give Me the Bible

Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah!

Have You Been to Jesus?

I Know Not Why God's Wondrous Grace (I Know Whom I Have Believed)

I Need Thee Every Hour

I Stand Amazed

I Will Sing the Wondrous Story

I'm Pressing On (Higher Ground)

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

O to be Like Thee!

On a Hill Far Away (The Old Rugged Cross)

On Jordan's Stormy Banks

Praise the Lord (Ye Heavens Adore Him)

Shall We Gather at the River?

Sing On

Sing the Wondrous Love (When We All Get to Heaven)

Standing on the Promises

There's a Call Comes Ringing (Send the Light)

'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

We Priase Thee, O God (Revive Us Again)

When Peace Like a River (It is Well with My Soul)

When the Trumpet of the Lord Shall Sound (When the Roll is Called)

When Upon Life's Billows (Count Your Blessings)

When We Walk with the Lord (Trust and Obey)

Would You Be Free (Power in the Blood)

Years I Spent in Vanity (At Calvary)

All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name

Amazing Grace

For the Beauty of the Earth

Holy, Holy, Holy!

O Thou Fount of Every Blessing

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Christ, We Do All Adore Thee

O Lord, Our Lord

And my very favorite ever...

Our God He is Alive (There is Beyond the Azure Blue)

And two other songs, while not hymns, are in the hymnal, and I would like to have a good version of both:

My Country, 'Tis of Thee and O Beautiful for Spacious Skies (America the Beautiful)

Well, this may be a long shot, but if anyone could point me in the right direction, or even just to a general hymn cd that's pretty good that might have some of these on it, that would be great!

Happy Friday :o)

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"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November