November 13, 2009

Indolence from the fat sick one…

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:49 pm by rachelelizabeth

I don’t know if we have H1N1, but I am definitely behaving like a pig.

In general, I have always looked upon health afflictions as a distilling factor to Spirituality.  David says that once he was afflicted he sought the Lord. I find, disturbingly, the opposite to be true. My lack of energy does not drive me to Christ, but to bed. Rather than growing in sweetness, I startle my child with the tone of voice I  address him with. Poor little guy. I have higher expectations of my husband (who, incidentally is also sick, but not pregnant in his third trimester, a fact which unfortunately negates any sympathy from me), and become increasing selfish – I complain to him, and my thoughts center around having a maid.

Of course, if I had a maid, I would continue my indolence by watching Sherlock Holmes. Why do something useful with all the time I would be given? Anyway, all this leads me to continue to worry about my own Holiness.

Thankfully, I know where the answers to my concerns can be found…so the question now is: Will I discipline myself to engage in some serious prayer time?

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.

Psalm 34:1,4,5

November 10, 2009

I guess, I forgot.

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:41 pm by rachelelizabeth

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ… – Philippians 1:27

Somehow, amidst the chaotic bliss of wifedom, motherhood, pregnancy, and dishes, I got waylaid. I began thinking of personal holiness only in terms of what I listened to, watched, and read.

My sins of laziness, cheerlessness, and selfishness didn’t seem to interfere with my care in these other areas, and I thought I was doing, well, okay. Then, the Lord graciously intervened in a few forms.

It is shocking to me how I cannot see sin where it is plainly to be seen.  Anything can be justified under the auspice of logic. Instead of reasoning from scripture and the cross, I was reasoning from my own limited, emotional, hormonal (did I mention pregnancy???) mind. How terrible a pattern this has become! J.C. Ryle aptly remarked,

…men try to cheat themselves into the belief that sin is not quite so sinful as God says it is, and that they are not so bad as they really are.

I have been reminded that I can honor the Lord first in my thoughts, words and actions. These areas are woefully untended in my own life. Thankfully, there is an antidote! Once again, Bishop Ryle in his work Holiness encourages me,

We must sit down humbly in the presence of God, look the whole subject in the face, examine clearly what the Lord Jesus calls sin, and what the Lord Jesus calls “doing His will.”…Once let us see that sin is far viler, and far nearer to us, and sticks more closely to us than we supposed, and we shall be led, I trust and believe, to get nearer to Christ. Once drawn nearer to Christ, we shall drink more deeply out of his fulness, and learn more thoroughly to “live the life of faith” in Him…

I trust that the Lord, through his Holy Spirit will continue to show me my own sin in my daily actions and attitudes.

June 28, 2009

My Acceptable Act of Worship

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:50 pm by rachelelizabeth

A lovely young lady and I have been going through The Excellent Wife, by Martha Peace. While we often disagree with some of her scripture usage to support her points, today’s chapter not only brought zero holdbacks, but bombarded us with several convicting points. The first pertained to idols, and the second to deliberation.

She pointed out that if a desire becomes so important to us that any interference causes us to sin with anxiety or frustration, we have made an idol, because we are no longer concerned with the true honor of God, but rather whatever we are pedestalizing (is that a word?). For me this occurs when I am ill. I become angry that I cannot accomplish my goals, instead of being thankful for the myriad of blessings I have. I didn’t really think about the fact that if someone could read my mind, it would be communicating that the most important thing to me is my agenda.

A notable thing that humbled me was her point that time-use  reveals what I am worshipping. This is obviously not quantitative, or it could be said that I worship changing diapers, or doing laundry, or keeping my floors clean. Rather I was convicted about the complete lack recently of purposing to honor God. I have been haphazard in my spiritual life. Deliberate during my times of devotion, but not extending that devotion through my day. The Lord has been convicting me of the choices I have been (or not been) making.

May the Lord help me to be deliberate and thoughful as I seek to live a life that makes an effort to worship Him.

June 9, 2009

Thanks, Mom…

Posted in Child Development, Gabriel, Parenting, Sweet rantings at 10:42 am by rachelelizabeth

Since being a parent, I have been overwhelmed with the ceaseless discipline that is involved to rear children. Or, in my case…child. Thankfully, the Lord has given me some guides for the practical end of this.

Gabriel is now fourteen months old. Daily my goals for him include: Psalm and Catechism (which I read for him, and hope he sits still) some sort of  Slow and Steady, Get me Ready Activity, Blanket time (where he plays on a blanket for an hour), and recently, book time on the couch.

We just started book time today. Perhaps I was too zealous by starting out for twenty minutes, but he did well.  Because this is training, anytime he wanted to stop, get up, throw the books on the ground, I just put him back into position. He probably will start getting, um…chastened, tomorrow or the next day, after I am sure he understands what he is supposed to do.

All this made me reflect on the many sacrifices my mother  made that I never even knew about or appreciated for the first 25 years of my life! The Lord has been so good to me!

May 14, 2009

Sunrise, Sunset

Posted in Bizarre observations, Gabriel, Parenting, Reflections and motivations at 11:17 am by rachelelizabeth

It has been my practice to read a Psalm to Gabriel every morning. Because of  the multifaceted distraction in my lap, I don’t always focus on the Word as effectively during this time, but rather reread the Psalm to myself after our little Bible and Catechism instruction time. This morning was an exception. Despite the wriggling 13 month old,  the words of verse 8 immediately convicted me;

So that those who dwell at the ends of  the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

Devotional living, that is, noticing the attributes of God as I go through my day, is recently intruding upon my awareness.  I want to study God everywhere I am, only partly so that I can point Gabriel to God at every opportunity.

Often the morning sunrise and the evening sunset gives us pause. We reflect upon how pretty it is, show Gabriel that the sky is pink.  This morning I realized that I never think that the sky is a sign of His glory, shouting for joy to the Lord. Now I will. I am thankful that God is faithful to show us ways that draw our minds back to Him at times during the day.  May the Lord continue to draw us near to Him through His Word!

December 11, 2008

Prayer…

Posted in Current Events, Reflections and motivations, Reformed quotes, Uncategorized tagged at 11:00 am by rachelelizabeth

Once again, Jonathan helps me realize why I desire to persist. Not because of any inherent quality in my self, but rather because of the Holy Spirit’s continuous grace.

The true spirit of prayer is no other than God’s own spirit dwelling in the hearts of the saints. And as this spirit comes from God, so doth it naturally tend to God in holy breathings and pantings. It naturally leads to God to converse with Him by prayer.

Jonathan Edwards, Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer

November 25, 2008

I give to you, and you give to me…

Posted in Marriage Bliss, Sweet rantings, Uncategorized at 10:44 am by rachelelizabeth

Yesterday a single mother spoke to me about her priorities concerning marriage. She wanted to make sure she owned her own home and had her career established before taking the leap. Two things struck me about this conversation.

She snidely remarked on the dependency- how much she hears ” I have to ask my husband “. I pointed out that many people overhear my husband informing people that he will talk to me before letting them know something. If I love Nate, perhaps I want to put him first. Don’t people realize that if my husband is out working all day for me, and I am home (and healthy), it is common decency to create a nice atmosphere for him to come to? Logic demands this give and take.

Fear of divorce heavily weighed in as her second concern. She has seen this happen over and over, usually leaving the woman with nothing. I have never realized what a wonderful gift from God it is to never be aware of divorce as a future reality. My only fears are about Nate dying!

I am left wondering why she even wants to get married.

November 5, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel…

Posted in Bizarre observations, Current Events, Sweet rantings, Uncategorized at 9:41 am by rachelelizabeth

Now that the elections are over, and that my baby is officially 7 months old, I can begin to think about blogging again. I think that seven months recovery time is phenomenal for someone who went from teaching piano to children, planning menus, reading a lot, shopping a lot, wasting time – a lot, to a super charged Mom who purees peas, carrots and other such yummy vegetables, checks her baby’s skin obsessively for rashes and chicken pox, and wonders where her brain went.

I am hoping that I will still be able to write in a readable way. So watch out, November!

June 26, 2008

Who is the Fairest?

Posted in Bizarre observations, Child Development, Gabriel, Parenting at 4:03 pm by rachelelizabeth

Yesterday marks baby Gabriel’s twelfth week among us. These last weeks have been unlike any other in my life.

P1000892

For this three month milestone, I introduced him to that one item that epitomizes self-absorption, namely, the all-fascinating MIRROR.

He began moving his fist up and down, marveling that his reflection’s hand moved at the same moment. Happy at this distraction, Gabriel’s attention was focused on this for some time before riveting on his own face.

Naturally, at the sight of such a handsome fellow, our fink-let smiled agreeably, and began to coo and grin most amicably for about five minutes without interruption. Though eventually discouraged by his alter-ego’s reticence to talk, he declared the meeting quite a success, and hopes to play with his window friend again soon.

March 10, 2008

Home Skooled

Posted in Bizarre observations, Current Events, Sweet rantings at 1:20 pm by rachelelizabeth

This article from the San Francisco Chronicler  explains an appellate court’s decision concerning the rights of parents over the education of their children. California decided (within the application of a  compulsory education law, passed in the 50’s) that a parent must have teaching credentials to home-school. This has shocked the home-school world, as well as created minor paranoia (I heard one pastor berating the state for its hate of the family). I felt that Al Mohler had a balanced treatment of the issue here (refer to his March 7th blog).

What bothers me about these regulations was the state’s governing what determines a good education. But then I read where the director of the Childrens’ Law Center in Los Angeles (in the article) said that their

“chief concern was not the quality of the children’s education, but their “being in a place daily where they would be observed by people who had a duty to ensure their ongoing safety.”

I suppose this is a relief in one sense. In my three years at a community college (one as a remedial reading teacher) I have been discouraged with the lack of education in many government school graduates.

However, if parents do not possess the moral “duty to ensure” their own child’s “ongoing safety”, how can we expect paid teachers to take this duty seriously toward every child in their classroom?

In 1647, when the Old Deluder Act was passed, it was made a requirement for the town to offer (taxed) education, but not require it. Ironically, their intention was to help keep the scriptures accessible, since Satan attempts to keep Scripture from men. I think the State of California is doing an adequate job now.

Washington State has more relaxed regulations. I am covered because I have had at least 45 college level credit hours. Once my child is 8, I do have to provide a declaration of intent to my local school district every year, as well as comply with yearly assessment tests. Thankfully, the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Education still deems home based instruction an educational right. Should the law change, I figure I have 8 years to get my teaching certification in :-).

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