Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas in California

This post was originally published today on my family's blog, The Name Fitz.

Two weeks ago, Mom and Dad and Dr. Thiel (the doctor we're working with in California) decided that Dr. Thiel needed to see Katelyn Grace as soon as possible. One week ago, Mom and Leslie left with the baby for California. They were gone for Mom and Dad's 25th wedding anniversary on the 18th, and will be gone for Christmas as well. Hopefully they will come home around the 28th or so. It will be our first Christmas separated. But we'll just reschedule! :D

Please pray for wisdom for Dr. Thiel. We believe he is a Christian, and he has been absolutely wonderful to work with. His son had both Down syndrome and epilepsy (a type called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, which is nearly impossible to control), and is now seizure free through his father's treatments.

Pray for Mom and Leslie. The Lord has been good in providing a good, safe, economical hotel, good rental car deals, and so many other things. Leslie has her kitchen set up in the hotel room, which is not an easy situation (and I speak from experience). They've had their hard days ... like the time there was a late-night Christmas party going on that kept them up half the night; then the keys got locked in the car the next day; and once they were finally on their way home, they missed the exit and ended up having to go miles out of their way. : ) But not all the days have been like that, thankfully.

Oh, and we have some good news! Leslie says that Katelyn Grace has maneuvered herself into a sitting position twice!!! All by herself!

We have really come to realize recently how dangerous these seizures can be. Actually, we're thankful in some ways that she's not crawling or walking. Any seizure would make her fall. And she has them all the time. Hopefully we'll figure them out before she becomes extremely mobile! Also, we're just praying that they're not causing brain damage.

Thank you for your prayers for our sweet little baby!

And Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Our High in the South Here is 65 Degrees Today

Anchorage, AK - My home come May

Currently:

Fair
-3°F
Feels Like
-19°F
Updated: Dec 20 09:53 a.m. Alaska ST


Today Tonight


PM Snow Showers
High
7°F

Precip
50%

Wind: NNE 6 mph
Max. Humidity: 64%
UV Index: 0 Low

Sunrise: 10:13 AM AT
Avg. High: 23°F
Record High: 47°F (1969)



Light Snow
Overnight Low
7°F

Precip
70%

Wind: N 6 mph
Max. Humidity: 74%



Sunset: 3:42 PM AT
Avg. Low: 11°F
Record Low: -34°F (1917)


Anchorage at 10:40 this morning (Alaska time), as seen on one of my webcams

Tait sent me these pictures fairly recently of their backyard:






Oh, isn't it beautiful?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Husband-to-be's Goals for the Education of Our Children



After we discussed practical home education on the phone one day, Tait sent me the following points in an e-mail:



1. We will emphasize character education. We will work on character prior to formal education, and emphasize it just as one would academics. We will emphasize our children’s relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ much more highly than we will academics. Our motto must be “No amount of education matters if our child goes to hell.”

2. We will heavily, heavily emphasize reading first out loud, then on their own. This will be the major thrust of our teaching.

3. We will work heavily on phonics and basic mathematics. Once these tools are mastered we will expect our children to do the bulk of their learning on their own. This does not mean that they will be unguided or not have to report in; it means that we will help them to set realistic goals, and work through those goals with accountability. On the flip side, this does not mean that we will use any curriculum type standard for what they work on. For example, if one child is interested in archeology, we will feed rather than discourage that interest, meanwhile helping them to balance that passion with other needful interests.

4. We will emphasize a notebook approach to school. The goal: That our children would not just learn to digest spoon fed mush, but would be able to accurately digest information for themselves through a biblical worldview.


Go to Tait's blog

Photo of my fiance, Tait, holding his two youngest nephews, Liam and Aiden

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Katelyn Grace Needs Your Prayers!

I have a post up on my family blog explaining the situation. There are also some cute pictures!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Time

"Time is cried out upon as a great thief; it is people's own fault.
Use him but well, and you will get from his hand more than he will ever take from you."
~The Wide, Wide World, by Susan Warner

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Choosing Life

Today, Mr. Phillips of Vision Forum wrote about his wife. I have read very little that spoke to my heart as this did. Mr. Phillips brought to attention the many, many amazing results of one mother's brave decision. The situation seemed tragic, "but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." (Genesis 50:20)

My sister and I were able to meet Mrs. Phillips at the Jamestown Quadricentennial. What a sweet, motherly, godly lady! Thank the Lord for her life!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Our New Home

Guess what! I'm going to live in Alaska! I know you all already know that, but I'm kind of excited! Well, I'm not just excited about the living in Alaska part; I'm mostly excited about marrying the most wonderful young man in the world in just over six months! The moving to Alaska part kind of comes with that. ::smile::

I put up a post on my family's blog about where we're going to live.

How about an old, rundown little house?

No, that's not where we're going to live. Well, not exactly....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Doll Wars"

Mr. Phillips posted a wonderful article studying the variety of messages sent by the different dolls of today.

Excerpt:
One of the most iconic symbols of childhood play is the doll. Dolls have always served an important role in culture, primarily in preparing daughters to be mothers. At the heart of doll play are two important concepts: identification and imagination. For example, the baby doll in the hands of a girl is a tool that helps her to identify with motherhood. The dress-up doll at her bedroom tea party allows her to imagine her own future role building a culture of hospitality for her family. With the historical doll a young lady both imagines and identifies with the adventures of girlhood past. The point is this: dolls have traditionally played an important role in the social and intellectual development of young ladies.

Humanists, including feminists of various stripes, recognize the power of play in shaping cultural identity and gender norms.

It's a long article, but well worth the read. It made me excited to help my husband-to-be establish a Christ-centered home where even the toys our children play with have meaning and purpose!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Much To Be Thankful For

Katelyn Grace was seizure-free today for the first time in well over a month!

To give you an idea of what an improvement this is, her worse day was last Wednesday, the 5th. She had seizures at 2:20am, 4:20am, 6:20am, 8:20am, and then randomly throughout the rest of the day, making a total of about seven or eight.

The Improvement

We saw an osteopath in Atlanta later that day, and things have gotten better since then. At that time, we also started a few other remedies, so it is hard to pinpoint exactly what single thing or combination helped the seizures. We just want to get rid of them! For the next week, she had two seizures a day: one soon after waking in the morning, and another around 6:00pm. Then, she started missing either her morning or evening seizure. Today, she didn't have one single seizure! We don't know what will happen tomorrow; she could have more, she may not have any at all.

The Seizures

Each seizure - or set of seizures - lasts about three or four minutes and consists of between ten and thirty individual absence and salaam seizures. She gets a glassy look in her eyes and doesn't respond to her name or to visual stimulation (absence seizure). Then her head goes back and there is an involuntary sudden contraction of her arms, legs, and head towards her middle (salaam seizure). She'll go back to normal and fuss for a few seconds, then she'll get that glassy look in her eyes and her head will go back again.... The first few are rather mild, but they grow more violent towards the middle and then slack off towards the end.

The Medical Opinions

The doctors say that these seizures are not enough to cause permanent brain damage at this time, but while she is having seizures, and while her brain is "spiking" abnormally in between, every two to three seconds, that area of her brain (which is quite small) cannot do what it needs to be doing. Also, it is not good for her to develop a pattern of seizures.

Thank the Lord!

We are so thankful that she is developing well in spite of everything. Many special needs children are unable to move at all for the first years of their lives. Others spend days, months, even years in the hospital. Yes, we have much to be thankful for!

Her Development

When she turned six months (she is now seven-and-a-half months!), we took her to the Down syndrome clinic at MUSC to check her development. They asked Mom countless questions about how she responds to this and that, tested Katelyn Grace's tracking abilities, and had her grab various objects. In so many areas, she was ahead of even "normal" babies! Her muscle tone was at 4-1/2 months, which is still ahead of most Down syndrome six-month-olds.

We believe that the hours and hours we are putting into her therapies are paying off!

Katelyn Grace is such a happy, contented baby, and is only fussy after her seizures or when her allergies (which we're still trying to figure out) are bothering her. She recently discovered that she has an extremely loud voice, and has been putting every ounce of her strength into ear-splitting yells and shouts. She loves "talking" to us! One of her favorite things is for one of us to take her into a quiet room, lie on the floor beside her, and just talk quietly to her as we play with her hands and tickle her feet. She watches and listens to us intently.

Thank you!

Thank you so much for your prayers for Katelyn Grace. It is such an encouragement to Mom, especially, to know that people all over the country - all over the world! - are praying for our precious little baby.

Please continue to pray daily that she would continue to progress and for wisdom for Mom and Dad. Thank you all!






Friday, September 7, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request for Katelyn Grace

For those of you who don't know, Katelyn Grace is my precious 7-month-old baby sister who has Down syndrome. This post was originally posted on my family's blog, The Name Fitz.


I wish I had time to go into both the long and short of everything now, but the short of it all will have to do for the present.


After having an EEG (electroencephalogram) a couple of weeks ago, Katelyn Grace was diagnosed with partial seizure disorder, and is having seizures several times a day.

We have several very specific prayer requests:

1. That the Lord would completely take away Katelyn Grace's seizures, either miraculously or through the doctors we're working with.

2. That the Lord would give Mom and Dad wisdom as they're making major decisions about Katelyn Grace's medical treatments.

3. That the Lord would strengthen Mom, especially, as she's struggling with having to watch Katelyn Grace suffer through these seizures.

4. That the Lord would lead us to the right doctors.

5. That the Lord would work through the unsaved doctors we're seeing.

6. That the Lord would grant special wisdom to the Christian doctors who are helping Katleyn Grace.

Please copy this post and post it on your own blog, or just publish a link to this post. Please share this prayer request with your family, friends, and church. We are trying to get as many people praying for Katelyn Grace as possible.

Please, please commit to pray for Katelyn Grace every day. If you can do this, please let us know by leaving a comment. Mom would be greatly encouraged to know how many people are praying for Katelyn Grace.

Thank you so much everyone!

Blessings,
Lauren for the whole family

Matthew 18:19 - Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

John 14:13 - And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

An Engagement ... Mine, In Fact

Important bit of news: Alaska is absolutely, positively beautiful!

More important bit of news: We had a wonderful, productive visit with the Zimmerman family.

Most important bit of news: Tait and I are engaged!

We look forward to a life together spent serving the Lord and giving Him the glory for all of the the miraculous ways He has worked.


There are a few old, familiar hymns that particularly stand out to me at this wonderful time.

"Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."


"Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness.
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me."


"Praise the Lord, praise the Lord! Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord!, praise the Lord! Let the people rejoice!
Oh come to the Father through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory,

Great things He hath done!”


More breathtaking pictures, animated stories, and informative updates coming soon on my family's blog!

********

Tait has also posted an engagement announcement on his blog, Not by Bread Alone.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Why Haven't I Been Posting Recently?

Well, my courtship might have something to do with it. And my 5-month-old baby sister might figure in there somewhere. And just normal busyness supplies the rest of my excuse.

I'm trying to keep our family blog going fairly regularly. Friends and relatives are anxious for updates and pleasantly clamorous for pictures of a certain Alaskan and updates on a certain courtship.

With that said, I'm not sure how often I'll be able to post on "More Precious Than Rubies" in the near future, but I'll grab any opportunities that come along! There are plans for some possible collaborative posts coming up soon, so please don't abandon, readers!

To see the said pictures and updates, go to our family blog, The Name Fitz.

Blessings,
Lauren

Tait and me at American Vision's Worldview Superconference the end of May

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Grandmother's Point of View - Issue IV

Grandmother’s Point of View

by Grandma Betty

[Written June 5, 2007]

It’s been quite some time since I shared my “Views” with others. Fathers Day is coming up this month: this day brings memories of my Father, Michael Korodi, who was a lay Christian minister. He was also an astute reader of history and continuously studied and mused over the Word of God, the Bible. We children would often snicker as we watched him slowly doze off over the open Bible after a long day of work.

I happen to be the youngest of six children in our family: all the others have gone on to be with the Lord, so I am the only remaining member of our family, to consider what kind of an heritage my Father left:

I remember him as a gentle person, who was generous in providing help to others in the “Great Depression” years. Many times, he took a loss when others failed to keep their promises of repayment.

Our home was always open to those who visited from other cities and stayed for a week or two.

Speaking several other languages, my Father was called upon to preach in four churches as the need arose.

One of his favorite Bible chapters was Psalm 139, especially the following verses:

“For Thou didst form my inward parts, Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb.

I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.

Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they all were written,

The days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”

In recent weeks, I have been struggling with pain and discomfort due to scoliosis (a curvature of the spine), with which the doctors say I may have been born. I didn’t become aware of it until the age of thirty-five! Having had an opportunity to read up a little on genetics, it’s amazing to learn just how intricately involved our bodies’ makeup is! The map of our genes and chromosomes is already laid out long before birth!

I realize that this doesn’t have much to do with Father’s Day, except that to say that if it weren’t for our fathers, we wouldn’t be here! I, for one, realize that I owe a debt of gratitude for a Father who was a good example of a Godly man, who provided for his family, and who was generous in helping those who were not as fortunate as we. My Father is gone, but let’s give honor to those fathers who are still with us!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A-Courtin'

This post was originally posted earlier today on our family blog, The Name Fitz.

* * * * *

A certain young man has been hanging around here of late. His presence is especially surprising given the fact that the young man hails from the faraway state of Alaska. However, he claims to have a special motivation for these regular visits to the heart of the South.

My story begins last May, when our family had the privilege of providing music for American Vision's First Annual Worldview Superconference. A certain Alaskan was also in attendance, but had not yet crossed paths with our family ... that is, until May 26th, the second-to-last day of the conference. Over the last twenty-four hours of the conference, he kept showing up here and there, spending time getting to know our family (without us knowing exactly why). Right before we left for home, Dad extended to him an invitation to visit us. Now, this is an invitation that is given to just about everyone we get to know at conferences and other such events, and only occasionally do we ever see these people again. This time turned out to be one of those "occasionally's."

Both Mom and Dad were significantly impressed by the maturity and marked character of this young man, and commented several times to that effect.

The middle of June an e-mail arrived: "I will most likely be taking you up on your offer to visit in your home." Toward the end of the said visit, when permission was sought, permission was granted to call and e-mail a young lady in the household. Phone calls between Mom and Dad and the Alaskan, and the Alaskan and the young lady, and Mom and Dad and the Alaskan's parents, followed. Our family met up with him at two Vision Forum conferences in San Antonio, TX, where he was interning with Vision Forum. Then a visit during Christmas. Now Courting.

Yes, Tait Zimmerman is courting a young lady from SC, who happens to be me (Lauren here!).

I know what may be going through the minds of some: Courting? Isn't that what people used to do like hundreds of years ago? Isn't that terribly old-fashioned?

I now begin another story, one which commenced slightly before my last one, although the very point at which it began is difficult to determine. One might say it began before I did, though. Both of my parents dated, and knew that they wanted something better for their children. It had always been understood, from the time we were little, that we would not follow the dating route. Dad would say, half jokingly, "You can date after you're married." When we were still quite small, Mom began keeping a "courting" file, to which she added the various articles on courtship versus dating that she came across.

Several years ago, our family's plans to pursue courtship instead of dating were cemented when Dad conducted a study on courtship for our church's weekly "Family Night."

The purpose of courtship is to seek God's will towards marriage. It has both direction and a certain amount of commitment. It recognizes the father's authority, and seeks guidance from both sets of parents.

One of my favorite verses in Proverbs 31 is "She will do him good, and not evil all the days of her life." As a little girl, as a teenager, as an eligible young lady. I am some man's future wife. I must avoid the emotionally- and physically-defrauding relationship found many times in the dating process. I belong to my future husband, and must do him good ... now.

* * * * *

We look forward to meeting his whole family - parents and two lovely sisters - in just two days! On Wednesday, Leslie and I are off to Asheville with them to attend American Vision's Second Annual Worldview Superconference! Then, the Zimmermans will be honored guests in our home for about another week-and-a-half. I shall have oodles of pictures to post, so keep checking our family blog!

Every day, my phone rings with a call from Alaska, and I am normally busy talking and studying for about the next hour or two with Tait. The consistency of his calls has earned him the nickname "The Pesky Alaskan" (PA for short) from Leslie.

Today is exactly one year since we met Tait at that conference in the out-of-the-way town of Toccoa, GA. The respect that each person in my family holds for him has only grown with time. He has vision and a desire to truly bring everything, every thought, into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Tait has a wonderful blog, Not by Bread Alone, and has posted a "courting post" too. Click over to read his perspective and a slightly more detailed account of our first meeting last May 26th. He hasn't had a chance to blog very much recently (all that phone time!), but has lots of great articles from the last few years.

Your prayers are appreciated as we continue to seek God's will.





Saturday, May 19, 2007

I've Been Meaning to Write on This....

I've been meaning to write something on this subject, but just haven't gotten a chance yet, with all the goings-on that have been going on of late. : ) Yesterday, I discovered an article on Ladies Against Feminism that says everything I want to say about this, and says it infinitely better than I ever could. Its title is "The Secret Garden" ... and no, it's not talking about the book.

I know it's rather low of me not to write something myself, and instead to borrow someone else's work. But I sincerely wanted to share this article with each and every one of you. You will be blessed, so please take five minutes of the time you had planned to use reading new posts on my blog, and peruse The Secret Garden.

Stay tuned ... on May 26th, I'll be posting something rather special and exciting, which will go far towards explaining the sad job I've been doing of late of keeping More Precious Than Rubies updated!

______

The Secret Garden

* * * * *

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

What Is "He" Looking For? - Part 4

Introduction * Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6 * Part 7 * Part 8 * Part 9 * Conclusion

4. "The next quality to look for is thankfulness.... Thankfulness is not a response to one's environment, rather, an expression of the heart."


Just like cheerfulness, thankfulness is "an expression of the heart," and - as Michael Pearl puts it, speaking of a prospective wife - "a change of environment and relationships is not going to make her thankful." Broadly stated, what we are before marriage, we will be after marriage. Yes, we can change; we are always changing, always learning. But if we have an ungrateful spirit before marriage, we cannot expect a miraculous, instantaneous metamorphosis to take place upon our wedding day, transforming us into thankful women.

In his book, The Power of True Success, Bill Gothard states, "An ungrateful spirit is a rebuke to those who are providing for you and a complaint against God."

First of all, we are commanded, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (I Thessalonians 5:18). Our thanks is due, first and foremost, to our Lord. Bill Gothard emphasizes that "[t]rue gratefulness springs from an awareness of our total unworthiness and inadequacy before a holy and just God." Anything the Lord chooses to give us is an immense blessing; our thanks should be poured freely and humbly at His feet.

Thanking the Lord for what we see as "good" is easy. Thanking Him for trials and hard times, adversities and calamities, is another matter. However, we are commanded to give thanks "in every thing"! We are instructed to "count it all joy when [we] fall into divers temptations" (James 1:2); God says we will be blessed when men "revile" and "persecute" us (Matthew 5:11). We must remember that God has a plan, that He knows what is best. God can use these difficult times to draw us closer to Himself, conforming us more fully into His image.

Besides her Lord, the most important person for a woman to express thankfulness to is her husband. It is he who has chosen her above all others to be his special helpmeet, to help him be successful in his life mission. It is he who works long days to support her, putting food on the table and providing for her needs.

Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Consider what an encouragement it would be to a husband for his wife to praise him, to thank him for the sacrifices he makes everyday for her!

Phillips Brooks, American clergyman and author, once said, "To say 'well done' to any bit of good work is to take hold of the powers which have made the effort and strengthen them beyond our knowledge." We have at our fingertips the power to either rebuke and discourage others through our ungrateful spirit, or to encourage others to pursue higher and nobler things by simply being thankful.

"Yet, on the dull silence breaking
With a lightning flush, a word,
Bearing endless desolation
On its blighting wings, I heard;
Earth can forge no keener weapon,
Dealing surer death and pain;
And the cruel echo answered
Through long years again.

I have known one word hung starlike
O'er a dreary waste of years,
And it only shone the brighter
Looked at through a mist of tears,
While a weary wanderer gathered
Hope and heart on life's dark way
By its faithful promise shining
Clearer day by day."

-from Home-Making, by J.R. Miller; pg. 41

Introduction * Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6 * Part 7 * Part 8 * Part 9 * Conclusion

Friday, April 27, 2007

"Wait on the Lord"

~ Psalm 27:13-14 ~

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Heartbreak and Blessings

Jessica Weatherford lies small and helpless on the opertating table, staring at a blue surgical sheet hanging inches from her face.

It blocks her view of the Caesarean operation on the other side, as a doctor delicately reaches for her baby.

A baby Jessica's been waiting for.

A baby she prays will live long enough to hold in her arms.

So begins one of the most heartbreaking stories I have ever read. This is a story of a young couple who experienced the unthinkable: the joy of finding out they were soon to be the proud parents of a baby boy, and then the sorrow of discovering that their first son would never live to see the outside of a hospital. You see, a severe disability, Trisomy 13, made it certain that little Zeke would not survive more than a few minutes - if that long - outside of his mother's womb.

But this is also the story of God's faithfulness and a mother's love. While most parents would have chosen to abort their child, Dave and Jessica Weatherford knew that God had a plan for their son's life, however short He saw fit to make it.

Psalm 139:13 - For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

As I read of this couple's struggles, their hopes, plans, and faith, tears streamed down my face. Theirs is a heartwrenching story. But I received a tremendous blessing from reading of God's faithfulness through every trial.

Their story gives a whole new meaning to Psalm 139. God has a plan for every life, even that of a severely disabled baby who lives for only 35 minutes outside of his mother's womb.

You will cry as you read of Jessica taking her baby in her arms, whispering, "Hi. This is Mommy. I love you."

But I can assure you that you will be blessed as I have been.

Part 1: Zeke's Gift - Love to Last a Lifetime

Part 2: Zeke's Gift - "Hi. This is Mommy"

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A.W. Pink - The Family As the Foundation of Society

Mr. Phillips, of the Vision Forum, recently published a quote from A.W. Pink on his blog concerning the relationship between the strength of families and the strength of a nation. The main thrust of the quote - particularly the second paragraph - is that "a nation is but the aggregate of its families, and unless there be good husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, there cannot possibly be good citizens."

This marriage relationship is looked at in more detail in the first paragraph of Pink's writing. The quality of a marriage determines how the roles of father and mother will be filled and significantly impacts the entire lives of sons and daughters which will be born into that marriage.

I considered merely posting a link to the quote, but I wanted to make sure that you read it! In an effort to make it more easily accessible, the decision was made to copy the quote over to my own blog.

It is perhaps a trite remark, yet nonetheless weighty for having been uttered so often, that with the one exception of personal conversion, marriage is the most momentous of all earthly events in the life of a man or woman. It forms a bond of union that binds them until death. It brings them into such intimate relations that they must either sweeten or embitter each other’s existence. It entails circumstances and consequences that are not less far-reaching than the endless ages of eternity. How essential it is then that we should have the blessing of Heaven upon such a solemn yet precious undertaking, and in order to this, how absolutely necessary it is that we be subject to God and to His Word thereon. Far, far better to remain single unto the end of our days, than to enter into the marriage state without the Divine benediction upon it. The records of history and the facts of observation bear abundant testimony to the truth of that remark.

Even those who look no further than the temporal happiness of individuals and the welfare of existing society, are not insensible to the great importance of our domestic relations, which the strongest affections of nature secure, and which even our wants and weaknesses cement. We can form no conception of social virtue or felicity, yea, no conception of human society itself, which has not its foundation in the family. No matter how excellent the constitution and laws of a country may be, or how vast its resources and prosperity, there is no sure basis for social order or public as well as private virtue, until it be laid in the wise regulation of its families. After all, a nation is but the aggregate of its families, and unless there be good husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, there cannot possibly be good citizens. Therefore the present decay of home life and family discipline threaten the stability of our nation today far more severely than does any foreign hostility.


- A.W. Pink

Friday, March 30, 2007

"A True and Godly Woman" - From "Maidens of Worth"

Anna Naomi Lofgren of Maidens of Worth wrote this beautiful poem:

A True and Godly Woman
Today the roles of men and ladies
Are often blurred or shared
Leaving one to wonder,
"So, what has God prepared?"

Some people would try to tell us
That we're the same in every way
That girls should strive for equal rights
And not be stuck inside all day!

But I want to be a lady,
Following after God.
Striving to do what pleases Him
Though it might look rather odd!

I want to have noble character
Like the women in God's word
Worth far more than rubies,
And living by trusting in the Lord

I want to learn to bring my future husband
Good, but never ill
Honoring him in all I do,
Learning to submit my will.

I strive to teach my hands eagerness
In all the daily tasks
Working hard from dawn 'til dusk
To make a home where nothing ever lacks.

Learning to sew and cook and clean,
To make a home lovely.
Learning to be an excellent wife and mother,
So that everyone shall see

A woman delighting in the gift
Of graceful femininity,
Clothed with strength and wisdom,
And possessing dignity.

Dressing with grace and honor,
Radiating modesty,
Letting there be no doubt that I
Am a girl of propriety.

Knowing and showing that
True beauty comes from within.
Not caught up in my outward appearance,
But praising God with all I am.

Learning to develop a spirit
That is quiet, gentle, and kind.
Shunning gossip and idle chatter,
But speaking with wisdom in mind.

Glorifying God with every
Word, thought, and deed.
Living as God would have me live,
Helping everyone in need.

And as I live each day,
I hope that it'll show,
That I am a true and Godly woman,
Delighting that it's so!

Friday, March 16, 2007

What Is "He" Looking For? - Part 3

Introduction * Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6 * Part 7 * Part 8 * Part 9 * Conclusion

3. "[Another] thing to look for in a prospective wife is cheerfulness.... Everyone has trials and adversities. The happy, cheerful girl has learned to deal with them and still enjoy life."


Cheerfulness might be defined as the outward manifestation of a contented heart. On the other hand, a lack of cheerfulness is often the result of discontentment. True cheerfulness is not contingent upon surrounding circumstances, but is the resulting attitude in a woman who has learned to be content "in whatsoever state" she finds herself. She is uplifting to her husband, and cheerfully fulfills her God-given role as his helpmeet.

We are all familiar with Paul's amazing statement in Philippians 4:11: "for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Paul went through many, many "whatsoever states" in his lifetime: shipwrecks, imprisonment, verbal abuse, persecution for the cause of Christ.

My family has a dear friend whose circumstances are less than ideal. She lives alone, far from family, and has many health problems. Although she is in pain frequently, everyone she meets is always greeted with a cheerful smile and an encouraging word. She has determined to have a good attitude no matter what her circumstances are. What an encouragement and inspiration to all of us!

Vibrant cheerfulness is infectious! There are some people around whom it is almost impossible to be sad or cast down. What man would not want a wife who is positive and uplifting, who always greets him with a cheerful countenance? Imagine the value of being able to come home after a long day's work with the confidence that one will be met with a bright smile and a cheerful, uplifting attitude!

Mr. Pearl contrasts his picture of a cheerful woman with one of a discontented woman. He writes, "No man can make a discontented woman happy." Discontentedness comes from the heart, and is not remedied by outward circumstances.

A woman who says, "I have had my way in this area. Now I am truly contented" is not really contented. Instead, she is merely temporarily satisfied. The next time she cannot buy that item she wants, or her husband does not act in a way that meets with her approval, her discontented spirit will show itself again.

How does one develop a spirit of cheerfulness? Mr. Pearl outlines this briefly: "Everyone has trials and adversities. The happy, cheerful girl has learned to deal with them and still enjoy life [Emphasis added]." Paul, too, does not merely say that he is content in whatsoever state he finds himself. He says that he has learned to be content in whatsoever state he is in. Literally, in this context, learned means "to learn by use and practice" or "to be in the habit of, accustomed to." A spirit of cheerfulness is something that we should be cultivating daily.

Cheerfulness is an attitude of the heart, and must be dealt with at the heart level. One who is always brooding, thinking of things that did not go her way, will find it impossible to become the possessor of a cheerful heart. She is on a road heading to discontentment and misery. One who makes it her practice to think on "whatever is true, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report (Philippians 4:8)" will find that her whole attitude and demeanor will undergo a dramatic change. A girl who looks for ways to serve, instead of thinking of all the ways others should be serving her, will learn to be content in all of the "whatsoever states" she finds herself.

Proverbs 15:13 - A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Proverbs 17:22 - A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Introduction * Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6 * Part 7 * Part 8 * Part 9 * Conclusion

Saturday, March 10, 2007

"The Age of Obedient Parents"

People ask me how it happens that my children are all so promptly obedient and so happy. As if it chanced that some parents have such children, or chanced that some have not! I am afraid it is only too true, as some one has remarked, that "this is the age of obedient parents!" What then will be the future of their children? How can they yield to God who have never been taught to yield to human authority? And how well fitted will they be to rule their own households who have never learned to rule themselves?


-Stepping Heavenward, by Elizabeth Prentiss; page 352


Monday, March 5, 2007

"Stepping Heavenward," by Elizabeth Prentiss

Stepping Heavenward, by Elizabeth Prentiss

Written in the form of a personal journal, this is truly a unique work of fiction. Although the story takes place in the 1800's, the main character, Katherine Mortimer, faces many of the same issues that young ladies face today: honoring her parents, loving God, controlling a quick temper, keeping her emotions in check, honoring her husband, loving her children, applying God's Word to every area of life, trusting God through difficulties, and surrendering to God's will. Kate's "journal" chronicles her struggles, triumphs, discoveries, losses, and joys, from her sixteenth birthday through her forty-third year. When I finished the last page of this book, I felt almost as if I had lost my best friend. I say almost, because the lessons learned from this friend are valuable, inspiring, personal, and - I hope - lasting.

"According to Elisabeth Elliot, Kay Arthur, and Joni Eareckson Tada, Stepping Heavenward will encourage, inspire, and challenge your walk with Jesus Christ in a dimension that few have entered" (from the Testimony, by editor Mark Hamby, at the beginning of the book).

A Wish, A Prayer

I want to see little children adorning every home, as flowers adorn every meadow and every wayside. I want to see them welcomed to the homes they enter, to see their parents grow less and less selfish, and more and more loving, because they have come. I want to see God's precious gifts accepted, not frowned upon and refused.

- Stepping Heavenward, by Elizabeth Prentiss; pg. 344


Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Stakes Are High!

Surely too much is involved, too great a responsibility, too many and too precious interests, to venture upon wedded life without Christ. The lessons are too hard to learn to be attempted without a divine Teacher. The burdens are too heavy to be borne without a mighty Helper. The perils of the way are too many to be passed through without an unerring Guide. The duties are too delicate, and the consequences of failure in them too far-reading and too terrible, to be taken up without wisdom and help from above.

- Home-Making, by J.R. Miller; page 29

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What Is "He" Looking For? - Part 2

Introduction * Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6 * Part 7 * Part 8 * Part 9 * Conclusion

2. "She will need to know how to pray."


Communication with God is an important part of the Christian life. In Scripture, we are commanded to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Since I have not learned New Testament Greek, I don't know exactly what it means by "without ceasing," but I do know that I fall miserably short of even the most liberal translation of this text!

I don't think that Paul is saying we can never do anything besides pray, but rather that we should have a spirit of prayer throughout our whole day. On a beautiful morning, we can thank God for the blessing of nature. While we are working in the kitchen, we can thank God for giving us an able body and good health. When we think of a friend who is going through a difficult time, we can breath a prayer that God would give her strength. While we are going about our daily work, we can praise the Lord for His provision and sufficiency. As we look around at our families, we can offer a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for His blessing of children, parents, and husband. During hard times, we can continually offer up prayers for guidance and strength. When our attitude is not as it should be, we have the privilege of coming to God and begging forgiveness, asking for help to overcome our struggle.

Communication with God is also an important key to sanctification. One of the reasons we are told to pray is that we "enter not into temptation" (Luke 22:40). Whether we have problems with our tempers, our tongues, our thoughts, or a lack of reverence and respect toward our husbands or parents, we have the power of God through prayer to keep us from giving in to those temptations.

Sometimes the Lord chooses to close a woman's womb, as He did with Hannah (1 Samuel 1:5). She prayed diligently that the Lord would grant her a child, pouring her heart out to the Giver of Life. The Lord granted her humble request and gave her a son, Samuel. Instead of becoming frustrated when things happen that are outside of our control, we can go to the Lord in prayer, freely making known our requests. What peace comes from this communion with our Lord!

It is not a wife's duty to change her husband. In Created to Be His Help Meet, by Debi Pearl, the question is asked: "[H]ow should we wives respond to make our own lives better and to provide a window of opportunity for our husbands to respond to God and improve?" In answer, Debi Pearl replies, "[A]bove all else, you cannot become his conscience or his accuser, expecting that pressure is going to push him into repentance."

My mother has informed me that many times a wife's only - but nonetheless effective - recourse is prayer. Created to Be His Help Meet is full of letters from wives who stepped back and stopped pressuring their husbands. Instead, they prayed and let the Holy Spirit convict. One such letter, from "Jill," speaks of the power of prayer: "When things go hard, I praise God and give the circumstance to him.... [M]y house is changing from week to week. I can see the work going on before my eyes, and I stand amazed."

Introduction * Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6 * Part 7 * Part 8 * Part 9 * Conclusion

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What Is "He" Looking For? - Part 1

Introduction * Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6 * Part 7 * Part 8 * Part 9 * Conclusion

1. "The first qualification is that she love the Lord and be His disciple."


If a woman does not understand the relationship between Christ and His church, how can she have a proper understanding of the relationship between a man and his wife? Ephesians 5 draws a clear parallel between the headship of Christ over the church and the headship of a husband over his wife.

"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.... For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church" (Ephesians 5:23-24, 31-32).

Marriage is a wonderful picture of Christ and His bride, the Church.

Here on earth, however, both the husband and the wife are sinners; they are going to fail. Without God's Word to guide and the Holy Spirit to convict, a marriage can fall apart before the honeymoon is over. A young woman must be a sincere disciple of Jesus Christ, seeking His ways as revealed in His Word, before she is ready to fulfill the great role of a godly wife.

Yet it is not enough merely to conform on the outside. A girl who has all the outer show of a godly wife, yet does not have a love for Christ, is leading a futile life. Colossians emphasizes that all we do must be done to the glory of God.

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men: Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ" (Colossians 3:23-24).

When others are not around to watch, what are we living for? During our years at home, are we obeying our parents because it makes life easier for us, or because we possess a deep love for Christ and His ways? If all of our actions are driven by a love of Christ, our obedience to His Word will not depend upon outward circumstances. However, if we lack love for Christ, all that we do is motivated by a desire for selfish gain or for the approval and good opinion of others.

Conversely, a woman who professes faith in Christ, yet whose actions do not reflect this, has a "dead faith." "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou has faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works" (James 2:18).

This passage goes on to say, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? ... For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:19-20, 26). The outward evidence that a woman is a disciple of Christ - one who has faith in Him - is a desire to do all to the glory of God, in accordance with His Word. Her actions reveal where her allegiance lies.

Introduction * Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6 * Part 7 * Part 8 * Part 9 * Conclusion

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What Is 'He' Looking For? - Introduction

Introduction * Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6 * Part 7 * Part 8 * Part 9 * Conclusion

Sometimes we look around us and wonder, "Where in the world is the Lord going to find a godly, upright young man to marry me someday?"

At these times, we need to stop and remember that responsibilities are ours; results are God's. God gives us our responsibilities in His Word, and promises to be faithful to those who follow Him (Deuteronomy 7:9, Psalm 127:1, Daniel 9:4).

Our responsibility during the unmarried, formative years of our lives is to diligently seek to become - with God's help - godly, virtuous young women. How can we ask the Lord to give us godly men if we are not ourselves godly women?

Simply and personally put, if my desire is to marry a man of God, I must seek to become a woman of God.

Most of us know what we want in a husband. But have you ever wondered what "he" is looking for in a wife?

I am currently reading through the book To Train up a Child, by Michael & Debi Pearl. Near the end of the book, Mr. Pearl includes a letter written to his sons. In this letter full of direction and sage advice, he offers guidance to his sons for one day choosing godly women to be their wives and the mothers of their children.

While taking notes on this chapter and mentally analyzing it, I wrote down nine main points that I would like to share with you. Mr. Pearl considers each of these points to be characteristic of any woman of God.

The purpose of these posts is not to instruct young men on what to look for in a prospective wife; rather, I am praying that the Lord would use this to inspire the young ladies around me (and in the vast blogosphere) to seek to become virtuous women of God. This letter sets forth what we should be working towards and provides valuable direction and insights for all future (and current) wives and mothers.

Proverbs 18:24 says, "He that hath friends must show himself friendly...." I think that this concept can be applied to us in a unique way: "She who desires a godly husband must show herself to be a godly woman."

Over the next few weeks, with each point, let us have an open heart as we look at what "he" - the godly young man - is looking for, in light of God's Word.

Introduction * Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6 * Part 7 * Part 8 * Part 9 * Conclusion

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A Fantastic Article on Feminine Modesty

Twins Alex and Brett Harris, of TheRebelution, recently conducted a "Modesty Survey." While I don't necessarily agree with or approve of every aspect of it, I appreciate the motivation behind it.

Part of the survey allowed those taking it to submit written answers or comments. One young man, Shannon Moeller, wrote a fantastic article comparing modesty to safety on roofs, or "parapets." I know it sounds rather bizarre, but click over to read this very insightful, practical, article entitled The Responsibility of Modesty (Part Two). I promise it will be worth the short three minutes it takes to read.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

A Gift From God

Click over to our family blog to see the new gift that God has given us in the person of a little down syndrome baby girl!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Something Very Exciting

You absolutely must look at our family blog!!! There's lots going on over there!

The Baby's Coming!

There's some exciting activity right now on our family blog, The Name Fitz! We're pretty sure Mom's going into "real" labor, but she's had several false alarms so far. Check our family blog for live updates!!!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Article: "Christians Can't Multitask"

I just finished reading a wonderful article by Alex & Brett Harris entitled Christians Can't Multitask.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I know. When I first saw the headline, I thought the same thing that's probably running through your mind right now. What in the world? Now that's strange. What's wrong with multi-tasking?

Through reading the article, however, I discovered a few things. Although multi-tasking in and of itself is not wrong, there are some things we need to consider first.

In this article, the Harris twins coherently and judiciously break down the issues surrounding our ever-increasing use of modern technology. How do we look at this from a Biblical perspective? What are the implications for our life goal of bringing glory to God?

In their own words,
Even in its infancy the incredible power and pervasiveness of modern technology requires us to step back and reassess our generation's proclivity for multitasking. As life gets faster and faster and technology continues to advance we've got to stop texting long enough to ask ourselves whether we're really more efficient when we multitask. How does this juggling show affect our productivity, our thought life, and our relationships?

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Godly Home - A Quote

Children need a mother who teaches them, not a teacher who doesn't have the emotional energy to mother them. Young men need a father who teaches them to work, not a father too busy working to teach them.

The best schooling for children is a good home life, not a home that is all school.

-Michael Pearl, To Train Up a Child, pg. 91

Monday, January 22, 2007

The First Online Christian Homemaking Conference

What a wonderful idea! An online conference! You can click on the add on my sidebar or the banner at the bottom of this post to see what topics are going to be discussed and other details.

The following is a message from Jennie Chancey on her website, Ladies Against Feminism.

We are very excited to tell our readers that technology has finally made a long-held dream come true: the opportunity to speak “live” over the Internet from home to ladies all over the world! Wherever you can get a high-speed connection, you will be able to log in and join us for a one-day conference (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST) on March 17, 2007. This first ever Christian Homemaking Conference on the Internet will feature Kim Brenneman of Large Family Logistics; Jennifer McBride of Noble Womanhood; Victoria Botkin and her daughters, Anna Sofia and Elizabeth of Visionary Daughters; Lydia Sherman and her daughter, Lillibeth, and yours truly, LAF editor Jennie Chancey. Attendees will be able to log in to a special conference site that will include streaming audio in real-time, visual presentations during the talks, live chat, and Q&A with the speakers. No need to spend time on the road or buy plane tickets; you can curl up with a cup of tea or gather with a group of friends and enjoy this special event from the comfort of home! Please click the banner below or in the sidebar for details. We truly look forward to “seeing” you there!


Thank you to all those who are putting this together!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Family Blog

My family just started our own blog, The Name Fitz. Click here or on my new sidebar link to see it!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

New Web Address

I just changed my web address to

http://morepreciousthanrubiesblog.blogspot.com

Just to make it easier to read ... it says "more precious than rubies blog." Please make any necessary changes to Bookmarks or other links leading to my blog.

Thanks!
Lauren

Sarah, Abraham's Wife - A Quote

God chose this one special man and this one special woman to become the father and mother of a great nation. Sarah wasn't commended for being a wonderful mother. She spent most of her life childless, being an old woman before her only son was born, and then she died before Isaac was grown. She was commended because she believed God and called her husband lord. She was the kind of wife God needed to make the kind of man God chose to bring forth a great nation [emphasis in original].


-Debi Pearl, in her book Created To Be His Helpmeet

1 Peter 3:1-6 ~ Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:


Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.


Monday, January 15, 2007

A Tribute to a Virtuous Woman

As most of you may know, my mom is due to deliver her fifth child sometime in February. Yesterday, Leslie and I, with the invaluable help of a dear friend, Mrs. Helen, hosted a baby shower for her. Leslie and I, in the course of our planning, considered various baby shower games and activities. Somehow, they all seemed meaningless and trite. What could we do that would make this baby shower special for Mom and do justice to her endless wonderful qualities and remarkable character?

Proverbs 31:28 speaks thus of the virtuous woman, "Her children arise up and call her blessed...." Since we are indeed the children of a virtuous woman, I was thankful for this opportunity to publicly arise up and call my mother blessed.
The following is roughly the "speech" I delivered in tribute to my virtuous mother:

The story of this special baby begins about four years ago, when my parents surrendered a particular area of their lives to the Lord. This was the area of having children. At first, Mom was rather intimidated by this decision and everything it might entail. You see, at forty-two, Mom was past the age that most women would even consider bringing new children into the world. Although she was willing to have more children if the Lord saw fit, she was not particularly eager.

Several years went by, and it seemed evident that our family would forever be a family of six.

In May of 2006, we had the privilege of attending American Vision's Worldview Superconference. The first person we met there was a man by the name of Gene. We started talking with him, and in the course of the conversation we asked how many children he had. Now, he didn't seem like the most serious guy in the world, so his answer of "ten children" left us wondering whether or not we should believe him. We were soon assured of his sincerity and in amazement us kids moved off to unpack and get settled, leaving Mom talking with him and his wife. Mom shared that she and Dad had surrendered the area of childbearing to the Lord, and that she was somewhat surprised she had not had any more children after leaving it in the Lord's hands. At the end of their lengthy conversation, Mr. Gene and his wife prayed with Mom and Dad. Mr. Gene's prayer was not exactly what Mom had expected. She was surprised and a little worried when Mr. Gene prayed that God would actually give her and Dad another baby. This was not quite what she had had in mind. She did not yet truly want another child enough to actually pray for one.

Over the next few days, we were greatly blessed not only by the many lectures, but also by watching how the large families in attendance functioned and the ways that their members interacted. Each of these families left a lasting impression on all of us and were a living testimony of the goodness of God's blessings.

It wasn't until we arrived back home and "got back into the swing of things" that Mom earnestly prayed, "Lord, if You want to send us another child, I'm ready and willing."

I'm reminded of Mary, after the angel told her that she was to be the mother of the Savior. "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word (Luke 1:38)." Mom had the same attitude of surrender, selflessness, and self-sacrifice that Mary had, even in the face of potential difficulties and discomforts.

The Lord had prepared her heart to joyfully accept a very special gift.

One week later, Mom discovered that she was four or five weeks pregnant with a new addition to our family. God's timing is always perfect.

"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate (Psalm 127:3-5)."

It's been a long process, but my parents have come to realize that children are from the Lord, and that they are a huge blessing. While our culture tells us that children are disruptive, a burden, an unwanted expense, unnecessary trouble, and extra impediments, the Bible tells us that God views children as a tremendous blessing, an asset, bearers of joy, and a wonderful heritage from Himself. [See Children: Blessing or Burden?]


I know that Mom and Dad view this new baby as a blessing. They also realize the huge task awaiting them: to raise this child up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord to be a godly young man or a virtuous young woman.
Hannah, after the Lord gave her Samuel, recognized that her child was given to her by God and she committed Samuel to the Lord. She praised God for the priceless gift He had seen fit to bestow upon her.

"For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:

Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord.
And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God (1 Samuel 1:27-28; 2:1-2)."

Mom has completely amazed me throughout her pregnancy. Her attitude has been truly wonderful, and her energy has been impressive. She has continued to minister to the physical needs of her family as usual. In addition to their normal duties, how many 7-month-pregnant women have the desire to host a neighborhood Christmas party or have violin recitals for their 11-year-old daughters in their living rooms?


Proverbs 31:10, 26-27 says, "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness."

Most women would probably not view themselves as still needing to "look well to the ways of their households" during pregnancy, and would consider themselves to be completely justified in "eating the bread of idleness." Mom, on the other hand, has kept right up with everything that has been going on. We are always asking her to slow down and to "remember her condition" - a phrase which she has good-humoredly all but banned us from using when speaking to her.

Proverbs goes on to say, "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised (vs. 28-30)."

I just want to bless and praise my mom today for being a godly, virtuous woman.
I want to thank her for everything she's done and everything she's been to the four of us. She’s been our teacher, our cook, our housekeeper, our sympathizer, our comforter, our encourager, our mentor, our example, such a wonderful mother in so many ways.

Thanks for being there, Mom, always ready to guide and encourage us. May God bless you for being an unparalleled model of virtuous womanhood to Leslie, Shannon, and me. I love you.

Oh, and thank you for the new little brother or sister!


Clockwise from top left: Shannon, me, Leslie, Mom

I love you, Mom!