Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

8.31.2010

The Day After the Year After I Say "I Do"


I consider myself to be a fairly level-headed woman. I don’t have any illusions about marrying Josh Groban, and I don’t harbor a secret crush for Jimmy Stewart. I know guys, but I don’t chase them, flirt with them, or treat them like a girlfriend. Honestly, though, I still long for marriage as the God-created norm. Unfortunately, I don’t just long for it, however; I join the millions of other girls who have the spectacles-tinted-the-same-hue-as-the-flowers-genus-rosa syndrome: I idealize marriage.

I think about it, and pray about it, and hope for it, and prepare for it—nothing wrong with that! When I start to think that living in close quarters with another sinful human being might be as close to heaven as one can get on this earth, and when I begin to daydream about my “perfect” husband who will catch me when I faint, bring me breakfast in bed, and come home with roses every single week, and when I start to put a husband in the place only God should hold in my heart, then I have idealized marriage to the point of idolatry.

Several years ago, a dear relative of mine suddenly remembered that she had twin nephews (on her husband’s side, so no relation to us) our age who had been homeschooled and raised in a Christian home. Since then, there’s been no stopping her, and she finally managed to orchestrate an extremely awkward meeting a few months ago in which both sets of twins said a polite “hello” and then did everything in their power to avoid each other. While this lady was singing her nephews’ praises, however, her husband seemed to grow more and more uncomfortable.

Finally, as though to counteract her propensity towards matchmaking, he launched into a lecture on marriage. “I told my daughters before they got married,” he began, “that marriage can’t be about you. It’s not to fulfill you and serve you, but to fulfill and serve the other person.” The more I’ve thought about that advice over the years, the more I’ve recognized its wisdom (despite the—ahem—unique circumstances that prompted said advice).

I’ve lived under the same roof as my parents for 20 years, watching as they sanctify each other through their marriage. Sure, there’s roses, chocolate, dates, and stolen kisses. But there were also the nights where I crawled into bed with them after yet another nightmare, and the days when the whole family was sick and no one felt like doing anything, and the times when disagreements came and voices rose. Through it all, though, I’ve seen their unconditional, unwavering love for the Father, and therefore, for each other.

After seeing such a beautiful picture of a real marriage for so long, I don’t know why I struggle so to get the Hollywood perception out of my head. The two are night and day—a slice of my homemade whole grain sourdough baguette versus a mouthful of cotton candy. But each and every day, as I say to God, “Where’s my prince charming?” I already know the answer. My prince won’t always be charming, and my charmer won’t always act like a prince. He won’t fulfill me, and he won’t wait on me hand and foot. He will be a sinful man striving to be like a sinless God, holding my hand and supporting me as I hold his hand and support him along the Narrow Way. God will bring us into each other’s lives to further His sanctification in us—and that won’t always be a pleasant, delightful prospect.

When I get things in perspective—when I look to God for my fulfillment and to my future marriage as another means of increasing and glorifying the kingdom of God, I’m still just as excited for the day I say “I do,” but I’m even more ecstatic for the day after the week after the month after the year after I say “I do.”


"He must increase, but I must decrease." ~John 3:30

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

8.27.2010

Clicking

Girls can be mean. Or so I’ve been told. And my own experience would seem to corroborate the scientific fact that every girls carries with her the potential to be mean. There were times when I claimed a monopoly on my friends—“I’m reserving this whole row of seats around her so don’t even bother coming within five yards”--without even thinking through how much that hurt others. And there were times when the monopoly was flipped and I was suddenly nonexistant to girls who had been good friends before another girl came along. It hurt.

These days, of course, friend dilemmas are much less middle school-esque. Or maybe they’re just middle school in a college sort of way. We have logic this time around, which goes something like: “We just don’t click. That girl—she is so sweet and lovely and wonderful. Funny thing, though—we don’t click.” So we sigh “oh well” at the mysterious lack of clicking and run across the room to the girl we click noisily and jubilantly with. But what of the girl left behind?

I am not denying, but acknowledging, that there are girls you naturally hit it off with (including for me, for example, every girl who has ever read my blog :-). And I am not denying that there are those girls with whom you can chat and laugh and enjoy their company—but you simply don’t have anything in common and you are always wracking your brain for a new topic of conversation to keep the small talk going. And I am definitely not denying that if God has given you the gift of a close friend—a kindred spirit—then you should cherish that gift and value it greatly, for it is a special blessing from God. What I have realized, however, is that that is not even a shadow of an excuse for overlooking the other girls with whom you may not click.

What relevance does being a tomboy versus a girly girl or a music-lover versus a gardening whiz have on two girls who are bound by the blood of Christ? For that matter, what relevance does homeschool grad versus public school student or stay at home daughter versus working girl have on showing the love of Christ? None whatsoever!

James 2:2-6 commands us not to show partiality to the rich girl, not to flock to the side of the girl who is always well dressed with cute shoes and perfect hair, while leaving the girl who missed the memo on the fall fashion trends and couldn’t afford them even if she hadn’t with just a "Hi." So while you might not catch us being partial to the girl who drives to church in a convertible, handing out friendship in proportion to riches is definitely not all James is referring to.

James 2:8-9 says, “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”

Any partiality--not just partiality based on riches.

Partiality based on outward appearance, partiality based on age, partiality based on interests, partiality based on convictions she has or doesn’t have, partiality based on personality, and yes, even partiality based on the aforementioned “clicking.” It’s all sin if it means not showing love to a neighbor. There is nothing wrong with the honest truth that someone may never be your best friend—the problem comes when you never even give them a chance, when you go out of your way to avoid that person. 
I have made so many mistakes in this area; so many lessons about friends and partiality I have learned the hard way. Here’s one of them: girls definitely have every potential to be mean and catty, but God created us to love and nurture regardless of common interests—to cry with each other when we are hurt, to e-mail each other just to say “I was thinking about you,” to run across the parking lot to give a hug, and to be the first to walk up to a new person and say, “Hi, I’m Lauren.” That's what the second greatest commandment is all about, and it has nothing to do with clicking with a person.  It does, however, have everything to do with the fact that you may never know how much one little action of love might mean to a person’s lonely, yearning heart, and that you may never know just how much you needed her timely encouragement and love.  And someday, as a side bonus, you may be talking to that person, hear something in the background, and wonder, "Just when did that clicking sound start?"

Picture Credit

8.24.2010

Invictus


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

When you are dying—when you stand at the gate of eternity—you see things from a different perspective than when you think you may live for a long time….Every time I saw the smoke pouring from the hideous smokestacks I knew it was the last remains of some poor woman who had been with me in Ravensbruck.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

But I was not afraid. Following Betsie’s death, God’s Presence was even more real. Even though I was looking into the valley of the shadow of death, I was not afraid.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It is here that Jesus comes the closest, taking our hand, and leading us through. One week before the order came to kill all the women of my age, I was free. I still do not understand all the details of my release from Ravensbruck.


It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

All I know is, it was a miracle of God.


“Invictus” or “unconquered”—beautiful words put together that touched my heart and sorrowed my soul. For, in the midst of the courage, the optimism, and the determination, is complete and utter faith in man—humanism. Corrie ten Boom’s story made of simple, real sentences challenges even the most adroit reader because of the unfathomable atrocities she survives. Yet, despite the grimness and in the midst of her courage, optimism, and determination is complete and utter faith in God.

How natural, how right, it seems to say, “No matter what, I will determine my destiny! I will control my soul!” It seems positively American to whittle oneself a walking stick rather than lean on a Divine shoulder. It is habit to wake up each morning and bow to idols—ourselves—in submission. It is politically correct to hold man’s thoughts on evolution, healthy eating, homosexuality, and divorce in higher esteem than Scripture. Man fights viciously for his own rights, desires, needs, and reputation. Americans sacrifice unborn babies on the altar of their own selfish volition.

We worship ourselves. In the direst of circumstances, we look inward with faith and determination. We are humanists. “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).”

Humanism is a lie as old as time, beginning from the first temptation of the serpent who suggested that Eve could become like God. Man is not God; man is a lowly, sinful, depraved creation capable of no righteousness except through God and deserving of nothing but hell. If that sounds harsh, it is because humanism has not only infiltrated our movies, music, books, politics, and education, but also our theology and churches. We are born humanists, selfish and materialistic little deities around which the world revolves. Once God picks us up out of our filth and saves us, we are not vaccinated against humanism, though; having a Biblical worldview equires daily cleansing in the Word and daily deference to a sovereign God.


Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Humanism sounds so heroic, but what place does chance have in a Christian's life?

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,

Humanism sounds so pragmatic, but what place does fear of the future have in a Christian's life?

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Humanism sounds so beautiful, but it is a lie. Because ultimately, the strait gate will matter. At the Great White Throne, captains and masters are no match for the fate of one's soul; it is God Who will remain unconquered, and not man.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith (Romans 12:1-3).”



Picture Credit
Italicized Poem: Henley, William Ernest (1888). A book of verses: Invictus. London: D. Nutt.
Quotations interspersed with "Invictus": ten Boom, Corrie. Tramp for the Lord. Pillar Books, New York, 1976.
"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

8.20.2010

Just a Station

“Wow—so you’re 20 now!”: the phrase I’ve been taking in a lot lately.
Depending on whether you’re 15 or 50, that may seem either like the transition into adulthood or the height of youth. For me, it seems like both.

I am no longer a teenager. I have purportedly entered the realm of “adulthood,” the third decade of my life. And it is strange. But the other side of the coin is that when I started to say, “Well you know, when I was little…” my great-uncle laughed uproariously. Hmm.  It’s all in your perspective, I admit; so thankfully, this week I found a new one.

I was scouring cross stitch samplers, reproductions of actual antiques, looking for a new pattern to try, and I found this one by a girl named Mary Jones.
In painstaking letters made of perfect little crosses that filled square after tiny square she stitched:

Mary Jones is my name New York is my station
Heaven is my dwelling place And Christ is my salvation
When I am dead laid in my grave and all my bones are rotten
When this you see Remember me that I be not forgotten
August 14 AD 1801 and in the 15th year of America's Independence

I was somehow struck by this Mary Jones who two hundred and nine years ago begged us not to forget her, not to ignore the impact she had on her station while she waited for her dwelling place. I don’t know how old Mary Jones was, but whether she was twenty or ten, I can hear this living heart’s cry of hers so clearly that it is almost strange to me that she now truly is dead, laid in her grave, and her bones rotten. Yet the message of her words is so vibrant that we know that even as she worked thread into linen with her earthly silver slip of a needle, her mind was on the things God was working in her on earth and for her in Heaven. Did she know that in the next millenium, girls would ponder the very same thing?

And as I pedaled my bike last week, in the midst of our 42 mile long ride, my mind did go to the same place. I was over halfway through the ride after a grueling seven hours. My legs were cramping, the sun was setting, the night was getting cold, and I had just realized that the last miles were uphill.
And then God gave me a gift: a glorious lake with seuqins of light scattered along the surface, and waters that mirrored the sky--richly pigmented of pinks and golds as the sun lowered in the horizon.

With this gift came my second wind, and I was ready for the transition, which I had heard whispered about.
A long bridge (shown in the picture on the left)loomed in the horizon—a huge uphill battle, which my family and I all fought together—together screaming in delight as we flew down the other side. But soon, even more uphills appeared, the sun had long since set, the air was cold, and darkness frowned upon us. It was then that I remembered the gift of beauty, the glimpse of Heaven that God had granted earlier, and that I thought back through the whole day.

The day had mirrored—in some small, minute way—the way my life, your life, and Mary’s are lived out. We all started carefree, racing down the path, taking breaks often, and laughing as we did so. And no, the joy never disappeared, but it deepened. And the transition did come when we faced the uphills, the deep theology discussions as we peddled side by side, and the exhaustion of moving forward without an end in sight. And there we are right now, peddling away endlessly. But Mary—she has already gone ahead to the last part—she went through the dark forests, passed the one mile marker sign, and hurtled down the unseen path, unable to glimpse even one step ahead but living in faith because that dark place was only her station. The lights that came into view soon enough were her dwelling place, and they were her joy. So as I stared at Mary’s words, looking ahead at the path that lies before me, I realized that I should take it from someone who has really been there. This earth is only my station, and turning twenty is only another step forward to my dwelling place.

8.17.2010

Summer Holiday

Last week, we traveled to Idaho to spend the week with our grandparents on the beautiful lake they live on. It was a wonderful time of rest, relaxation, and fun!






While there, Lauren and I celebrated a certain milestone!

We also went on a looooong bike ride!



After 1 1/2 hours of boating down the lake and a river, the boat stopped some 40 miles from Grandma and Grandpa's house. Yikes! Providentially, although we were on a secluded part of the river, the boat stalled right in front of a friendly couple's house, and they promptly offered to tie us up at the dock and take Grandpa into town to get the part he needed.

While waiting, we had a beautiful view across the river! We also discovered that the couple lived in our town until recently, and the man worked at the same place Papa works! Now is it a small world or what?

The boat's working again! Praise the Lord!




Micah made a rite of passage Grandpa instituted that all of us have gone through over the many summers at the lake. To be allowed on the dock without a life jacket, he had to swim from one designated point to another. He made it! Was there ever any doubt?

We got to catch up with our "triplet" (born on the same day and year as us).

Waterskiing! It's harder than it looks!




So long for now, Idaho! Another year of sweet memories at the lake with so many favorite past times. Which picture is your favorite?


All pictures taken by Mama

8.13.2010

Noise Addictions

Hello all!  I'm away from my computer for a few days, so I'm re-publishing a post from November of last year.  It's one of my favorites, so enjoy!

I was around twelve—the oldest sister of six kids, with the youngest boy just born. My twelve year old cousin was over, and she, Mikaela, and I were playing with gusto. It was a wonderful time, but right in the middle of our latest game, my cousin, an only child, piped up with something to say, and I got the impression that she had been deliberating on this comment for most of the evening. “Doesn’t that noise bother you?” she asked. Mikaela and I looked at each other, opened our ears, and realized that our younger siblings were also playing with great gusto in the office right outside of our bedroom. Only their gusto was more like uproarious giggles, simultaneous shouts of delight over their game, and banging away at our toy piano. All at the same time. I hadn’t noticed.

Fast-forward to a few days ago. This has been the gold standard of hectic weeks, and my time to do school has been short and precious. I sat down to concentrate and turned on some (Christmas!) music in the background while I worked. It was a few minutes later before I realized that I was getting distracted from the work at hand with the exuberant music playing in my ear. Why exactly was I trying so hard to multitask? So I turned the music off and listened to the silence.

This is what I heard: in our house, silence is rare. Inside, every door is a swinging one, and noise abounds. Even if you go outside, there is always a rooster crowing or a tree cracking or a lawnmower roaring. To me, these sounds are beautiful, but I am painfully aware that these beautiful sounds are drowned out by other sounds that aren’t quite so lovely. A bird’s-eye view of our society in general reveals that we are almost addicted to noise. We can't go for an hour without turning on the radio, the TV, the headphones, the sound effects—we are surrounded by noise and sound! I’m not talking about the kind of lovely noise that bothered my cousin but the noise of all this entertainment--noise pollution.

All of this “artificial” noise is as detrimental as going without sleep, because it occupies our heads with peripheral things when we should really be using the time to meditate and communicate with God. Headphones, roosters, idle chatter, roosters, (-: and television are huge inhibitors to deep, meaningful time with God. The great men of Scripture? How often did they put in their 8-track tapes when they were bouncing down the road on a camel? I can verify they never did—instead, I imagine them talking with God as they trekked between towns.

Scripture speaks often of the importance of silence. Ecclesiastes 3:7b says, “A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” Habbakuk 2:20 offers an even more compelling picture: “But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.” I Timothy 4:15 promises that whatever sacrifice we make in order to have this time with God is worth it: “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.” So turn off the radio in the car—talk to God. Turn off the phone—talk to God. Take out the headphones—talk to God. Your soul will thank you.

Another benefit? When we take the time to realize the beauty of silence we can once again appreciate the beauty of sound. Today I am going to revel in silence, and a week from today I’m going to equally enjoy the sound of nineteen people in the house. We’ll have glasses clinking, laughter to the rooftop, and lots of conversation—talking about God.

Picture Credit

8.10.2010

Optionless


Many years ago, my parents made a radical decision to keep their children home with them—no daycare, no preschool, no kindergarten, no elementary school, no middle school, no junior high, and no high school. Their brave decision then will change generations for centuries, because each one of my siblings and I are equally committed to homeschooling our children, should the Lord so bless us. The reasons for my personal decision to homeschool future children are myriad. I could tell you about my own experience—how I never scored below 90% on an achievement test, or how I was reading the Little House on the Prairie series as a five year-old, or how I scored in the 96th percentile on my SAT, or how I had the freedom to compose novels and practice piano and violin to my heart’s content. I could defend my socialization skills (I always love it when people ask me that—am I not socializing with you as I speak? Are “socialization skills” so nebulous that you can’t analyze them for yourself when they’re right in front of you?), my diploma, my lack of interest in the prom, and the legality of it all. I learned Spanish, I had science labs, and I took tests like everyone else. No, I didn’t sleep in—I woke up between five-thirty and six every morning with every fifteen minutes of my day scheduled on a piece of paper.

But, when it comes right down to it, I’m not going to homeschool my children for superior test scores or geeky bragging rights. My children will meet the state requirements and they will learn reading, writing, arithmetic, and beyond. Hopefully, they will exceed requirements and soar above average percentile scores. (On average, the approximately 1.5 million homeschoolers in the United States consistently score in the 80th percentile, compared to their public school counterparts who come in at the 50th percentile [1].) That’s just a bonus, though.

That’s just what I keep in my back pocket to tell all those non-homeschoolers who cannot fathom why I would be horrified to let my children sit in a humanistic, God-hating classroom for 14,000 of the most formative hours of their lives. That’s what I say when I know my acquaintance will count catty cliques and bratty bullies as part of the experience. That’s what I report to those who are obsessed with IQs and Ivy League colleges.

But to those who seem the least bit interested, I’ll gladly expound on my real reason: I will homeschool my children to disciple them. Just as I grew up beside Mama, listening to her read Miller stories at lunch, helping her feed squash to baby sister, and learning a spiritual principle for every letter in the alphabet, so I want my kids to do the same. Just as I grew up knowing that every morning, like it or not, Papa would be kissing me awake before the sun was up, teaching a tableful of sleepy children about God and Scripture, so I want for my children. Just as I realized my responsibility before God as a human and a sinner and submitted my life to His Lordship at an early age, so I pray with all my heart will happen for my children.

While I know that God is sovereign, and He has and will continue to use government and Christian schools mercifully in children’s lives, I don’t want my thirteen year-old girl to worry about attracting cute guys, and I don’t want my ten year-old son to know who Taylor Lautner is. I don’t want to spend the hour between seven and eight every morning seeing my children off to school and the time from three to eight every evening doing damage control against worldly-wise kids, “health” class, and a secular humanist worldview, only to repeat the same process the next day.

In Matthew 22:36-38, Jesus quoted directly from Deuteronomy 6 to provide the greatest commandment in the Law. The verses after that command, however, provide a sobering reality check to anyone who is or aspires to be a parent:

“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).”

I will homeschool because I belong to Jesus and His Word commands me to disciple my children. Is there any other option?





If you are interested in homeschooling, please visit You Can Homeschool to learn more!

Picture Credit
[1]
Homeschool Progress Report 2009

8.06.2010

The Stubborn Streak

Are you a woman of conviction?
Are you a woman of fire and passion?
Are you a woman who knows what she believes?
We’re on the same page so far. Now the hard question: are you also a woman who can sometimes be stubborn?
Sigh. Me too.

Sturdy conviction is an admirable, hard-won trait, and the woman who bears this carries herself with boldness, courage, and wisdom. She will never back down on the truth and never compromise.

And sturdy conviction was definitely my strong suit when, at age 4 or 5, I bore the firm belief that sauteed mushrooms were the worst food on the planet. (I still do, in fact!) I turned up my nose at them every time they were served and painstakingly separated them from the rest of my food. One evening, mushrooms graced our stir-fry, and as I began to scoot them to the side of my plate, Papa informed me that I would be eating them that night. I continued to separate out the mushrooms and ate everything else on my plate except for the slimy bits of fungi. Everyone else left the table, and I remained, calmly stoic in my decision to not eat the mushrooms, and quite firm in my resolve. Around me the evening preparations continued: the kitchen was cleaned, stories were read, Mikaela and Melanie went to bed, and still I sat. Pretty soon, even Mama and Papa were in bed, the house was dark, and I still sat staring at my cold, slimy mushrooms. Papa wandered out in his pajamas every once in a while, shaking his head at his willful child. Finally, my tastebuds dulled with sleepiness, I eyed the mushrooms with a new determination, speared them with the fork, swallowed them whole, and went to bed.

To my little mind, I was suffering through an unjustice—I was in fact being heroic!
Or being a stubborn brat. 

In reality though, the line beween heroicism and stubbornnes is often hard to find.  Where is the separation between bold determination and simple pig-headedness? How do you balance being wise as serpents with being harmless as doves (Mt. 10:16)? How do you sally forth in our pagan world with nary a doubt yet carry close to your heart a teachable spirit, open to the possibility of learning something? Are you being a passionate truth-speaker, or simply argumentative and arrogant?

One man was defending the name of Christ as he was being detained without cause and questioned. He was boldly striking down lies with truth, but he wasn’t the only one striking, for the high priest ordered him struck in the mouth. His mouth still smarting, “Paul said to him, ‘God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?’ And those who stood by said, ‘Do you revile God's high priest?’ Then Paul said, ‘I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, “You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.”’ (Acts 23:3-5)

I don’t know about you, but many a time I have been deep in a discussion, passionate about carrying my point, only to suddenly realize that I was dead wrong. But when I find myself wrong, my first inclination is still to squint up my eyes and swallow the slimy nastiness whole—get through it as quickly as possible. But apologize for stubbornness? Do I look like super-woman?

Ezekiel 2:4 says, “For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD.’”

We all need a good dose of "Thus says" more than every once in a while.  You see, there is a line between stubbornness and holy boldness, and that line is humility. When we have that “deep sense of [our] own unworthiness in the sight of God” (Websters 1828 Dictionary) our first impulse will not be to accuse, in the name of Christ, those who strike us. When we have humility and are in proper awe of the Lord’s omnipotent presence and saving grace, we can share our convictions on abortion without getting into a boxing match. We can state our firm belief that you just took the wrong turn and then leave it at that—able to restrain ourselves from grabbing the wheel and turning the car around.

Isaiah 50:7-8,10 says, "For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed. He is near who justifies Me; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand together. Who is My adversary? Let him come near Me….Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD And rely upon his God.”

You can be arguing for the right side and still be stubborn, but you cannot have holy boldness and argue for the wrong side, for that comes only from the Holy Spirit. Therein lies our advantage as Christians—not in our jutted out chin, crossed arms, and tricky arguments. Have passion, determination, grit, and tenacity, but every night kneel before and say with heartfelt humility, “Lord, show me Your way, for I don't want to be following my own way!”

As for me, I’m still passionate about my loathing for sauteed mushrooms (fresh are fine), but I’m trying to practice what I preach and exercise a teachable spirit—every other time mushrooms are presented at the table, I eat one.

Picture Credit

8.03.2010

When the Rain Comes

Yesterday, we participated in a first annual film festival with four other families. We received the word our movie was to be about--"JOY"--at 6 AM and spent the next twelve hours frantically brainstorming, filming, editing, and stressing. Parent participation was strictly prohibited, and every child's participation was mandatory, so throughout the day, we learned to work together through the fun moments and the hectic ones, striving for a common goal and desire.

Movie making seems a lot like life, doesn't it?

So, without further ado, please enjoy our movie--but remember, it is our first attempt ever at something like this!

video




When the Rain Comes copyright 2010 by Lauren and Mikaela. Copying, reposting, or otherwise distributing this video is strictly forbidden without express permission from the owners.

Music, in order of appearance:

"I Forgive You" by Thomas Newman

"Singin' in the Rain" by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed and sung by Gene Kelly
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