Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Valley of Vision

Lord of Heaven,

Thy goodness is inexpressible and inconceivable,
In the works of creation thou art almighty,
In the dispensations of providence all-wise,
In the gospel of grace all love,
And in thy Son thou hast provided for
 our deliverance from the effects of sin,
 the justification of our persons,
 the sanctification of our natures,
 the perseverance of our souls in the path of life.
Though exposed to the terrors of thy law,
 we have a refuge from the storm;
Though compelled to cry, 'Unclean',
 we have a fountain for sin;
Though creature-cells of emptiness
 we have a fullness accessible to all,
 and incapable of reduction.

Grant us always to know that to walk with Jesus
 makes other interests a shadow and a dream.
Keep us from intermittent attention to eternal things;
Save us from the delusion of those
 who fail to go far in religion,
 who are concerned but not converted,
 who have another heart but not a new one,
 who have light, zeal, and confidence, but not in Christ.
Let us judge our Christianity,
 not only by our dependence on Jesus,
  but by our love to him,
   our conformity to him,
    our knowledge of him.
Give us a religion that is both real and progressive,
 that holds on its way and grows stronger,
 that lives and works in the Spirit,
 that profits by every correction,
 and is injured by no carnal indulgence.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

There Was A Child Went Forth

There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or stretching eyeles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass and white and red morning-glories, and white and red clover, and the song
  of the phoebe-bird,
And the Third-month lambs and the sow's pink-faint litter, and the mare's foal and the cow's calf,
And the noisy brood of the barnyard of by the mire of the pondside,
And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there, and the beautiful curious liquid,
And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads, all became part of him.
His own parents, he that had father'd him and she that had conceiv'd him in her womb and
  birthed him.
They gave this child more of themselves than that,
They gave him afterward everyday, they became part of him.

~Walt Whitman

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Isaiah and My Children

Ethan Patrick
Strong Nobleman
Isaiah 32:8
But the noble man devises noble plans and by noble plans he stands.
Saoirse Dawn
Freedom has risen
Isaiah 60:1
Arise, shine; for you light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How to be Happy

Are you almost disgusted with life, little man?
I'll tell you a wonderful trick
That will bring some contentment, if anything can,
Do something for somebody, quick!

Are you awfully tired with play, little girl?
Wearied, discouraged, and sick -
I'll tell you the loveliest game in the world,
Do something for somebody, quick!

Though it rains, like the rain of the flood, little man,
And the clouds are forbidding and thick,
You can make the sun shine in your soul, little man,
Do something for somebody, quick!

Though the stars are like brass overhead, little girl,
And the walks like a well-heated brick,
And our earthly affairs in a terrible whirl,
Do something for somebody, quick!


Sharing a tub of whipped cream!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Two Temples

A Builder builded a temple,
He wrought it with grace and skill;
Pillars and groins and arches
All fashioned to work his will.
Men said, as they saw it's beauty,
"It shall never know decay;
Great is thy skill, O Builder!
Thy fame shall endure for aye!"

A Mother builded a temple
With loving and infinite care,
Planning each arch with patience,
Laying each stone with prayer.
None praised her unceasing efforts,
None knew her wondrous plan,
For the temple the Mother builded
Was unseen by the eyes of man.

Gone is the Builder's temple,
Crumpled into the dust;
Low lies each stately pillar,
Food for consuming rust.
But the temple the Mother builded
Will last while the ages roll,
For that beautiful unseen temple
Was a child's immortal soul.

~Hattie Vose Hall

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A List of Favorites

After finishing Life After Art by Matt Appling and One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp I was challenged and inspired to make the beauty that I desire to see in my home. Autumn delights are something I am already grateful for and now I am taking steps to actually enjoy them. From the list above (courtesy of Pinterest) my favorites are:

My mustard yellow cardigan(along with boots and jeans)
Baking: lately French bread and a pear tart.
The daily teatime ritual I am creating with my family.
Sometimes it's morning, sometimes afternoon, or even evening.
I make a pot of tea or hot cocoa to share with Ethan and Roman (while Saoirse has a sippy of milk) and we enjoy relaxing together. Setting up the whole tea service makes an inviting and relaxing experience that much more beautiful.
What are your favorite autumn joys?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Real Motherhood: In Sickness and in Health

Welcome to the October Real Motherhood Link-up, hosted by Mandi and Sarah!
The past month held a lot for our family, including a week with the flu, a week with guests (with whom we shared the flu), the rapid onset of chilly autumn weather, and of course the common cold, which turns me into something of a giant hankie. The bright side to all the sickness is the extra time cuddling and reading to the little ones. The dark side...well every mother knows that!
Roman's cousin and his family from TN visited us for about a week in the middle of September.
It was a fabulous experience to open our home in Christian hospitality that blessed me a great variety of ways. I hope I will continue to have opportunity to bless others with my home.

My kids favorite visitors were the furry ones. Goodness, they just love dogs!

My battle of the month: Ethan hated being in the car. The second he was in he wanted to go home, he cried and screamed until we reached our destination (grocery store, grandmas house, etc.) and would do fine while out. When back in the car it was another tantrum until we arrived home. I thought I would never have a peaceful car trip again. Then suddenly, last week the tantrums ceased. I have no clue why they started or why they stopped. Sometimes you just have to ride the phase out.

Chilly autumn walks!
And now I must go wipe the noses after explosive sneezes, and wash sheets, and....

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Little Red Bike

Mindy has the sweetest songs that seem to reflect the simple joy of an ordinary life.


Friday, October 4, 2013

October's Party

October gave a party,
The leaves of hundreds came-
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners
And gaily flutter by;
The sight was a like a rainbow
New-fallen from the sky.

Then in the rustic hollow
At hide and seek they played;
The party closed at sundown
And everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And the party ended
With jolly "hands around."

~George Cooper

Ah! Sunflower

Ah! Sunflower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the travelers journey is done:

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow
Arise from their graves and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go.

~William Blake
One of my favorite autumnal flowers is the red and black sunflowers. They match the dark, yet bright tones that mark the remarkable change in seasons, much different from the standard bright yellow of summery sunflowers. It is remarkable how each plant changes through a year.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Little Red Riding Hood

The gift of photography (and the good camera) is in the hands of my mother. So I occasionally prevail upon her to take pictures of my children (a task she willingly endures). To mark Saoirse's first year of life I wanted to captured her red hair, and the fairy tale character of Red Riding Hood seemed to be a perfect subject. So I hand-sewed every detail of her flowing cape, made a batch of ginger cookies, and sent her to Nana's house (my mother-in-law's darling English style cottage in the woods.) Here are a few of my favorite shots from the day.




Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league,
 Half a league onward,
All in the Valley of Death
 Rode the six hundred.
"Forward the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

"Forward the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismayed?
Not tho' the soldier knew
  Some one had blundered:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die,
Into the valley of Death,
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to the right of them,
Cannon to the left of them,
Cannon in front of them
  Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell,
  Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in the air,
Sabering the gunners there,
Charging the army, while
All the world wondered:
Plunged in the battery smoke
Right through the line they broke:
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre stroke
Shattered and sundered
Then they rode back, but not,
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to the right of them,
Cannon to the left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
  All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade!
  Noble six hundred!

~Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I quite enjoyed this thought provoking video:
Halloween: A Poem
Whatever side you may take on how to celebrate this rather major autumnal holiday, take some time to listen and reflect on this most ghastly of holidays as it fills the stores and homes around us. And perhaps, Christians should take some time to consider good ways of celebrating All-Saints-Day, a day to honor that the lives of men and women who have faced the darkness of the world and proven conquerors in the name of Christ.