Steve and Angie

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mary's Dedication Letter

Dear Little Mary,

It is such a privilege for daddy and me to welcome you into our family and to stand before our family and friends and promise to bring you up in a godly way. It is with very grateful hearts that we acknowledge the Lord’s hand in the protection of your life during your birth, and we look forward with much anticipation to watching His hand on you as you grow in the years to come. You are most certainly a blessing to us, and we love you very much.

When I think of Mary, the mother of Jesus, after whom you were named, I see some of the qualities daddy and I promise to train in you. First, Mary knew the word of God! In the sovereignty of God, you were born on your sister Hannah’s birthday, and how interesting it is to note that Mary’s Magnificat in Luke 1 is quite a reflection of Hannah’s prayer in I Samuel. How honored I will be if one day you have such a deep understanding of God’s Word like these two godly women. Daddy and I promise to spend many hours teaching you God’s Word and teaching you to memorize and meditate on His Word. I can even guarantee you will hear many sermons (from a great pastor) that will teach you to think rightly about the Word of God. Our earnest desire is that you grow up to have the same love that we have for the Word of God.

Mary was also a very humble woman. Daddy and I want nothing more for you than that you will one day submit every aspect of your life to the Lord. That in humility you will surrender your will to the One whose mercy is on those who fear Him. That the Word of God will do its work in your life and grow you into a godly woman who seeks after God’s heart. We promise to teach you to humbly accept what God has in store for your life.

In her humility, Mary was obedient to the will of the Lord. Obedience is probably one of the biggest things that daddy and I need to promise to teach you. The greatest way to show love is to obey. It is the desire of our hearts that you will one day show your love to God by obeying His commandments. Not only do we want you to know what the Lord requires of you, but that you put that knowledge into practice in all of your life.

We sincerely hope that your siblings will play a vital role in helping you learn to be a godly woman (your brothers will teach patience and longsuffering for sure), but daddy and I know we are the ones responsible to God for the way we raise you. We promise to equip you to be a submissive wife, a loving mother, and above all, a woman that pleases the Lord in all that she does. Saying all this, we recognize that your decision to follow the Lord is not one we can make for you. We pray that by grace you will be saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We love you very much and know that our children are a heritage from the LORD and a reward from Him. We are very happy that you have joined our little quiver.

Mom and Dad

Saturday, June 18, 2011

In honor of Father's Day

Esther (my eight year old) had a funny yesterday that I thought Steve would really appreciate it in light of his special day coming up tomorrow. It reminds me of a T-shirt my friend Chad wears that has D.A.D.D. across the front (dads against daughters dating).

We (my girls and two of their friends) were hanging out last night. One of the friends explained that a boy had said some inappropriate things to the other girl yesterday, so they couldn't be friends anymore. Esther asked if he said the "D" word. Now, we really shelter our kids, so I'm sure Esther doesn't even know what the real "D" word is, so I asked her what she meant, but she didn't even want to say it out loud. So, I started guessing what "D" word would be so awful in her mind and asked if it was divorce. She shook her head and finally squeaked out "Date". What a sweeheart! At least we know she is safe around boys for a little while. You mention that "date" word and you are gone!

I'm so grateful for the wonderful husband I have, and for the great father that my children have! I hope he has a very special day tomorrow!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I'm a jealous wife

I woke up one morning last week really pondering this topic, but I just haven't had time to type it down yet.

I'm sure some of you have heard this story before, but one of my favorite professors at Cedarville once told the story of how he memorized his vows for his wedding and recommended we never do that. Well, Steve and I decided we liked the idea of writing and memorizing our own vows, so that is just what we did. Really what we (meaning mostly Steve with me sitting beside him nodding) did was make scripture passages about marriage into vows. One of the passages was I Cor. 13 - the love passage. Interestingly enough, the phrase that I have had to repeat to myself the most over the last 15 years has been "love does not envy". I remember a few years ago sitting at a wedding where a pastor was being wed. The officiating pastor spoke to the bride about sharing her husband with the church, and I saw two or three heads nodding in agreement. It almost broke my heart! It is really hard to explain just how much "sharing" of their husband/father a pastor's family does. There have been weeks when Steve has something at church every night, sometimes even two or three weeks in a row, and when I am tempted to feel self-pity, I remind myself that love does not envy.

But the other day Steve and I were talking and I told him that I was a jealous wife, and I think it is okay. What I have decided is that there is an ungodly jealousy but also a godly jealousy. The ungodly jealousy examples would not be hard to find; that is just what we think of when we think of jealousy: Joseph's brothers, King Saul of David, laborers in the vineyard.

But the jealousy I have is in regard to my husband's heart, similar to the jealousy the Lord has for His people. I will never forget the lightbulb moment I had when I memorized the Exodus passage of the 10 commandments years ago with my daughters. God is a jealous God! He refuses to share our loyalty with any other gods. And that is how I am with my husband.

Proverbs 6:32-34 says "Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, And his reproach will not be wiped away. For jealousy is a husband's fury; Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance." Well, I'm not a husband, but I think there is an issue we wives have to deal with today that should drives us to jealousy. I absolutely hate, and yes, I'm even jealous for my husband concerning the immodesty in our society. It is sickening that someone can't even walk through some department stores without viewing a full size poster of another woman's body.

I love the work of Dannah Gresh (and not just because she is a Cedarville grad). I once heard her say, "Some people call it cleavage, but I call it getting a view of someones breasts." I am jealous for my husband in this area! Certainly it is my husband's responsibiliy to avoid lust in his heart, but how hard our society has made purity of mind for our men! And need I even mention how easy the internet has made this sin? I recently chatted with someone that works at a video store. She shared that their adult video business has diminished because of the availability on the internet.

Now, I know most everyone that reads my blog is very like-mided with me. I won't have models that pose for the purpose of lust reading my blog. So the encouragement I would give is to my friends trying to teach modesty to their girls. Don't give up is what I keep telling myself. Honestly, I tire of this issue with my girls. I'm so busy just trying to make sure my little boys are dressed and match, and maybe even clean, before we leave the house, that I don't always take time to examine my 12 and 13 year old's clothing to make sure it is appropriate. Afterall, I've established standards with them. They know I don't want anyone getting a view of their breasts. But they are so concerned about "the look" that sometimes their judgement is clouded. Don't let your daughters grow up taking another woman's job for her husband, she just might be a jealous wife.

June 5th - for Steve

Well, Steve came home from church today and told me he had brought his computer home so I could blog about our day yesterday because he wanted to read about it. Curious for sure, but I won't argue with a chance to blog and regain some sanity. So here you go sweetheart . ..

I knew yesterday was going to be a busy day, but I still didn't get myself up and going like I should have in the morning. I started feeling really yucky Friday night (fighting off mastitis . . . again), so a 6 am start, which would have been wise, just didn't happen. Steve was officiating his first ever "church wedding" and Josh was the ring bearer. They both needed to leave a little after 10 for pictures. We were also having a KASH picnic in the evening that I needed to prepare a few things for.
So basically the morning involved, bathing Josh and Mary and gettting them dressed, making 3 batches of breadsticks and a cake, making and printing a wedding card, finding money to put in the card :), asking the kids to clean the living room, feeding the kids, sewing up a dress Hannah picked out for Ruth to wear, making sure the remaining seven kids were properly attired (modest, matching and clean - harder than you might think), asking the kids to clean the living room - again, loading the van, answering phone calls, packing clothes to change into for the picnic, oh, and getting myself dressed. Finally, we headed out around 11:45. Whew!

The wedding was very nice. I noticed that I'm viewing weddings from the mother of the bride perspective now. :) I'm still trying to figure out how Steve is going to walk the girls down the aisle and officiate the wedding as well, but we probably have a while to figure that out (eight years if Hannah marries at the same age I did)! Of course, I was holding Mary and Ruth decided to be "a pill" (as grandma Alexander would have said), which is usually the job her brothers cover. So, it was a bit high stress trying to keep all eight kids in a good mood for the whole wedding.

After the wedding I took seven of the kids to the reception while Steve and Josh did more pictures. I will admit that by this point in the day I had a few regretable lapses in my gentle and quiet spirit. Kids not understanding directions, fussy due to lack of naps, hovering over and tugging on Mary to give her kisses, and pulling on my arm while I'm holding a baby in the other arm and balancing in heels brought my sin nature to the front! About the time we got our plates, it was time to head out to pick up the chicken for the picnic.

Praise the Lord for a kind husband that kept the boys with him while I took the girls to the picnic. Unfortunately, I took the van that did NOT have the cups for the picnic, but that really was the last thing on my mind at the time. So, we picked up the chicken and headed to the park. We unloaded everything and changed in the bathroom. This is when I realized the one thing I had not done all day was to check the weather report. My how interesting . . . for the third year in a row, weather has been an issue with our end of the year KASH picnic. It has now been renamed the end of the year KASH thunderstorm picnic. We all gathered under the shelter for the first two cells to pass by, but when the third was coming, we invited everyone to our house. It seemed like a really good idea at the time, I just lacked the omniscience to realize our power was going to go out.

Steve brought the kids home as quickly as he could to do some emergency cleaning, and now you understand the foreshadowing in the first paragraph about asking the kids to clean the living room several times before we left! So, we had about 50 people in our house when we heard the siren going off in the heights. Then the power goes off, and doesn't come back on. In fact, it didn't come back on until around 7:00 am, just as Steve was leaving for church.

So that was our day. Understandably, we have five people sleeping right now!