And so it begins…

And so it begins…

We moved into our house 10 years ago. Before we moved in, I men­tioned that I really didn’t like the tile in the kitchen. Or the builder grade oak cab­i­nets. I mean, they are func­tional. But not the most aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing. To me, anyway.

Ten years ago…

We’ve toyed with mov­ing closer to town. It became the fam­ily joke… In the spring, we will look at putting the house on the mar­ket. That was about 5 years ago. And every year since. So, if we were mov­ing, we cer­tainly didn’t want to spend the time, money, or drama get­ting the kitchen updated. Made per­fect sense.

But this year, we resigned our­selves to stay­ing put in our house. We are NOT going to sell it. We actu­ally love where we live. The prop­erty is beau­ti­ful, and pri­vate, and quiet. It’s just a long drive to get any­where. But it is quiet. And we like it.

So, that puts the kitchen projects back on the front burner, where they belonged 10 years ago.

And so my days have been filled with school­ing, pick­ing tile for the floor, music lessons, choos­ing the gran­ite counter tops, horse lessons, select­ing the PAINT (hard­est deci­sion ever), laun­dry, meals, and recon­sid­er­ing all the options above. Every­one says how fun it is. And, well, it is a fun con­cept. I can’t wait for it to all come together. But I also can’t wait to have all the deci­sions made.

So, I thought I would jour­nal our progress here over the next cou­ple of months. Hope­fully it won’t take that long to get it all done.

And I will add pic­tures of the progress.


There’s a New {little} Man in My Life

There’s a New {little} Man in My Life

And I’m smitten.

grandparents with hudson

He’s so won­der­ful in every way.

Those of you who have also entered the world of GRAND­par­ent­hood know what I mean. They steal your heart in noth­ing flat.


I’ve been pon­der­ing on what to write about this new phase of life. It’s not like we are the first to ever have grand­chil­dren. Obviously.

And then I remem­bered all those years ago when my first child was born.

The love. The absolute sur­ren­der­ing of my com­fort, my needs, my var­i­ous wants… to that lit­tle baby and his.

And how it dawned on me in those days of lit­tle things how much my par­ents must have loved me in a sim­i­lar way.

I mean, sure: I knew they loved me. But, the same way I was now lov­ing my new baby? All those joys inde­scrib­able that were wrapped up in a tiny smile, and then the belly laughs. The hope that I prayed for my baby’s future life. The late nights gladly sac­ri­ficed for the needs and cries of that help­less baby, who I was hon­ored to min­is­ter to. They loved me like that?

You see, my mem­o­ries are mostly about cur­fews, restric­tions, a busy life filled with get­ting din­ner on the table and school work done. Those nuances of babylove long gone. And yet… My par­ents sac­ri­ficed greatly for their kids. Both of my par­ents worked long, hard jobs. They labored to keep us well cared for. And per­haps they didn’t say things as often as they could have, but they showed their love in many ways. And I never really under­stood a love like *this*.

My hope and prayer is that my kids can see that love that they have for their chil­dren as a sort of reminder to them of the love we have for them. It runs deep. We did not say all the things we could have. In our bus­tle of a busy life, some­times those things get missed and pushed aside. Wait­ing for tomor­row, when we will have more time. Right. Like that happens.

And Hudson’s birth also reminds me to invest even more into those still in our home. These lit­tle peo­ple who are grow­ing older and sur­pass­ing me in many ways (height, knowl­edge, skill…) still need me to remind them of the love I have for them. The new­born new­ness wears off in some ways. It’s not like we can sit at coo at them all day. The 15 year old might think I’ve lost my mind. But, walk­ing along­side my kids and invest­ing in them daily is some­thing to strive for. Tomorrow’s lazy days never do arrive. At least not while I have din­ner to cook and floors to mop.

But Hud­son. My heart soars with joy when I see his face. His mama sends me pho­tos nearly daily of his sweet squishy face that I want to cover in kisses. I know his par­ents will lav­ish love on him, meet his needs as best as they are able, and indulge his wants with wis­dom and joy. And teach him daily about the Love that sur­passes any­thing we are able to do. That Love incar­nate in Christ, who teaches us to love by His per­fect exam­ple. Noth­ing gives me greater joy than to know my chil­dren are teach­ing their chil­dren to walk in truth. God has been mer­ci­ful and so very good to us.

Oh, in case you are won­der­ing… Faith is tak­ing VERY well to being the dot­ing aunt. She can’t get enough of him. When I show her the daily pho­tos of her wee nephew, she squeals with such delight. I think they will be quite the pair. And any spoil­ing that his Mommy and Daddy won’t do, she will gladly pick up the slack.

To the Woman Who is Soon to Marry My Son

To the Woman Who is Soon to Marry My Son

{My sec­ond son is get­ting mar­ried in about a week. This let­ter is to his fiance, but maybe it will speak to oth­ers as well. After all, mar­riage and mothers/daughters-in-law have been around since the begin­ning of time, and will con­tinue until the Lord returns.}

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22

My dear, I want you to know that I love you. I deter­mined long before I met you that I would love you. And my heart is over­joyed to find that it is an easy thing to do. In every­thing we do and say and live through our lives in the future, my hope is that you will always remem­ber this and keep it in the front of your heart and mind.

Thank you for lov­ing my son. And for lov­ing me. Thank you for the thought­ful­ness you put into the words you say. And the way that you say them. You touch me deeply with your kind­ness towards my son and our fam­ily. I pray that this will always be so. At any rate, we are off to a great start!

Over the years to come, you likely will see into our lives in ways that few ever will. You will see our strengths, but I am sure it is our weak­nesses that will stand out more. Be patient with us.

You will see the areas where we are more prone to sin. You will see the places we try to hide from the wider world.  You know, those places of vul­ner­a­bil­ity and heartache. Be gen­tle with us.

And as we see those areas in your life, my heart hopes that we will also be patient and gen­tle with you.

I’m sure my son will not only tell you of the joys, the highs, the tri­umphs in our lives, but he will share the low points, the places where we failed. We all have those, you know. We like to pre­tend that we don’t. But we do. Like most Chris­t­ian par­ents, we desire to raise our chil­dren well, in the love and nur­ture of the Lord. But like all par­ents from all times, we are still deal­ing with real life: exhaus­tion, bills, impa­tience, sin. And so, it doesn’t always look like that shiny brochure we imag­ined when we got mar­ried and started hav­ing kids: the one that pic­tures per­fectly dressed chil­dren, a “House Beau­ti­ful” home, a sophis­ti­cated wardrobe that fits on a slen­der body, and a per­pet­u­ally happy husband.

Unless it’s the one you find at the bot­tom of my purse, with crumbs ground into it, pen mark­ings, smudges. If that’s the brochure you have in mind, then we’re good.

I have found that the trick is to keep our eyes on Christ, not on our crum­pled brochure. Why is it that we cling so tena­ciously to the ideals we man­u­fac­ture in our minds? Don’t we know that that isn’t real life, even as we pour over Pin­ter­est and Face­book, with all the happy ideas and smiles?

Mostly, we have had an incred­i­bly happy life together, rais­ing this son who will soon be your Mis­ter. He is tena­cious. He is faith­ful. He is gen­er­ous. He is stub­born. He is not eas­ily swayed. But, when he is in, he’s all in. You never have to doubt his com­mit­ment. He loves deeply, with every­thing that is in him. He is ten­der and soft, in that hard, rugged way. But, I think you know all of that. Be care­ful with him. Your words have great power to build or to tear him down. Never for­get the power you have.  Proverbs 14:1 teaches us that “The wise woman builds her house, but the fool­ish pulls it down with her hands.” Yes, and yes. Try to grasp that con­cept. I’m still try­ing to grasp it after 25 years of mar­riage. It’s a huge thing. I am still baf­fled when I learn how strongly my words have impacted my hus­band. Both for good and for bad. Be quick to repent and apol­o­gize. We have noth­ing to gain by stub­born­ness. Only days, months, years to lose to bit­ter­ness and strife. Choose the good. Choose the joy. Choose the love. Choose ten­der­ness and com­pas­sion. You’ll be blessed so much more with those.

I look for­ward to watch­ing the two of you make your life together. You will have strug­gles, but those are great oppor­tu­ni­ties to unite your hearts as one as you work together to get through them. You will have vic­to­ries. They may be small, like get­ting the tod­dler to eat his veg­eta­bles;  they may be great, like buy­ing your first house or tri­umph­ing over sin through the power of Christ in you.

And I will be here cheer­ing you on. Encour­ag­ing you in your role as a wife. I want you to suc­ceed at being the best wife you can be to my son. Because I believe it will help him be the best hus­band to you. And every­one wins. For gen­er­a­tions to come.

It is not my desire to be that med­dling mother in law in the mid­dle of your lives. My desire is to come along­side you, offer­ing encour­age­ment. And advice when asked. If I seem aloof at times, it is likely because I am try­ing to give you space. You are always wel­come into my lit­tle world. But I will try never to pre­sume a cen­tral spot in yours. My door is always open to you, or my tex­ting phone, whichever the case may be. And you two are always wel­come at all fam­ily and hol­i­day occa­sions. But, we will never have expec­ta­tions that you will be there. I pray that you never feel any pres­sure from us in these poten­tially dif­fi­cult mat­ters. We will take great joy for any and all the times we have together. And be thank­ful for those times. And under­stand­ing when it can’t be so. At least that’s our heart in the mat­ter. I pray the Lord will give us strength and per­spec­tive that blesses you in your marriage.

I no longer have an alle­giance to my son. I have an alle­giance to YOU: the two of you as one flesh. I love you as though I bore you myself — because my son loves you and has cho­sen you for his bride. It’s a won­der­ful bonus that I like you, too. God is so good.

So, my dear, wel­come to the fam­ily. I think my son has done a won­der­ful job in choos­ing a wife. I pray that he is the hus­band to you that you need:  for com­pan­ion­ship, love, your per­sonal sanc­ti­fi­ca­tion, and grow­ing in matu­rity in the Lord. He has had an excel­lent exam­ple in his father.

I love you.


photo credit: Sierra Candler

This blog post is shared over at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.



So, What is the Virtuous Woman?

So, What is the Virtuous Woman?

I have noticed in my con­ver­sa­tions with other women that many peo­ple seem to mis­un­der­stand the idea of what it is to be a vir­tu­ous woman. It appears that some fall into the camp of believ­ing that it is a holier than thou, pietis­tic char­ac­ter­is­tic. Not really attain­able. Or at best, a forced pub­lic face of holi­ness. I have heard, “Oh, you’re the ‘vir­tu­ous wife’.” As if I believe I am some­how ele­vated in my esti­ma­tion of myself, and think I am the one and only. Please, let me be clear when I say that I desire to con­duct myself in such a way that I bring honor to Christ, my hus­band, and my church in the way I live. I also know that I fail mis­er­ably.  A lot. More than I like to admit pri­vately or pub­licly. I have no delu­sions of who I am based on my own merit. And yet, Proverbs 31 extols the vir­tu­ous woman. She is a good thing. And she is a real thing. She isn’t some fan­tasy that no woman can hope to become. We are not to say, “Oh, well, yes, that sounds all good and fine, but REALLY, I can’t be expected to be that.” And then go on our merry way ignor­ing this per­son: the vir­tu­ous woman.

I came across a won­der­ful blog post by my friend, Kelly Craw­ford, who blogs at Gen­er­a­tion Cedar,  the other day where she dis­cusses this very topic.  She gave me per­mis­sion to share her post with my read­ers. You can find the orig­i­nal post here.

What You Need to Know About the “Vir­tu­ous” Woman

by Kelly Crawford

Beautiful blond sexy woman warrior with sword outdoor

A big smile broke out across my face yes­ter­day when I was show­ing my girls how to study the Bible using a Strong’s con­cor­dance. I had cho­sen Proverbs 31:10 and we were look­ing up the word “virtuous.”

If you grew up in a Chris­t­ian home or church, you are well-familiar with talk of what it means to be a “vir­tu­ous” woman. Some women don’t even like to use the word any­more because its mean­ing has become jaded, its image attached to self-righteousness piety (sadly, but true). At best, we think it means “good, godly, pure.”

I was so sur­prised to see the word in its orig­i­nal Hebrew. Look:

a force, strength, abil­ity, might, effi­ciency, wealth, army

And the writer of Proverbs rightly asks, “Who can find this kind of woman?”

I sub­mit, she is still hard to find. She is hard to become. She is hard to raise. But we must com­mit to the task.

I’ve seen a dis­turb­ing trend among young moth­ers and wives the last few years and I’ve thought a lot about our response to it. With the abil­ity to “peek” into the lives of oth­ers so eas­ily through face­book and blogs, I see moth­ers who strug­gle, com­plain and all but give up on their task, con­clud­ing it’s too hard. They are weak, frail and emo­tion­ally volatile.

And I con­fess I’ve been her.

I think we need more pluck. I know I do, and I cer­tainly want my girls to have it. But pluck is such a small word now. We need vir­tu­ous women.

It’s ironic that the stereo­type of women who devote them­selves to home, believ­ing God has made them helpers to their hus­bands, should be “pathetic” and “weak.”  The Bible gets blamed for “oppress­ing” women and giv­ing them a so-called lower station.

But it’s in the Bible where we find that a vir­tu­ous woman is akin to an army, a FORCE, to be reck­oned with, no doubt. And as we raise our daugh­ters, we know they need to be strong to hold up to this ardu­ous task of rais­ing the next gen­er­a­tion, as that work is done in the grind­ing out of days and weeks and months and years.

So we’re not talk­ing here about “mak­ing sure they know how to mop.” That’s not the pic­ture of the vir­tu­ous woman I see from Proverbs 31. There’s a whole lot to her, to know­ing how to be effi­cient in all areas of life, to rul­ing her home well, to man­ag­ing dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties and chal­lenges, to edu­cat­ing her chil­dren, to being wise, to com­ing along­side her hus­band and bear­ing him up, to sav­ing money, to mak­ing money, to being alert to the needs around her, to min­is­ter­ing–she is an army in one lady.

I know that one lit­tle Hebrew word has breathed new life into my efforts as I seek to raise vir­tu­ous women. Effi­cient, mighty, able women. May we raise up a strong force for the glory of God!

- See more at:

I am so thank­ful to Kelly for writ­ing this. She shares so many of my thoughts. A vir­tu­ous woman. Yes! An army. A force. Ladies, we have a gigan­tic job before us as we raise our chil­dren, run our homes, min­is­ter to our church body, and love our hus­bands. It is not for the faint of heart. Kelly has helped breathe new life into my min­istry in my home. A vir­tu­ous woman. Yes, please. I have three daugh­ters I am help­ing to raise. These words have empow­ered me with a bet­ter vision for how to attack this chal­lenge before me. I pray it equips you as well.




Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you and your fam­ily from ours. May this year be filled with great joy, hope, grace, peace, and love. May the Sav­ior of your soul shower you with bless­ings rich in His mercy. May you know His con­stant pres­ence in your days.

Espe­cially in the tri­als. And heartaches. And fears that creep in.

Lean on Him. Rest in Him. Hope in Him. He never dis­ap­points. Never leaves you alone to your own devices and strength. He is Faith­ful and True. Always.

May you rejoice in His goodness.

Oh how great is Your good­ness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have pre­pared for those who trust in You in the pres­ence of the sons of men! Psalm 31:19

This year I hope to blog again. I have taken quite a long break from blog­ging. Mostly, my days have been filled with the busy-ness of life: Home­mak­ing, home­school­ing, run­ning a busi­ness, lov­ing my hus­band and chil­dren… The things this blog is about. And, I found myself liv­ing it more than writ­ing about it, although I did write count­less posts in my head. I also felt the great weight of putting my thoughts out there for pub­lic con­sump­tion. Words mat­ter. And I don’t want to take it lightly, although I also don’t want to take myself too seri­ously at the same time. 😉 It’s a strange mix­ture of thoughts swirling in my head.

But, I miss writ­ing. So, I want to write more. I have much to share, many thoughts to explore. We have embarked on some new adven­tures this past year, and have some more new things com­ing up in the new year. I hope to share those with you.

So, Happy New Year. Embrace it with joy. God is good.

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