Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Author of the Storm

Into the boat, together they went;
They launched out;  yet Jesus was spent.

He fell asleep and the wind began to blow;
Water began to overwhelm, didn't He know?

The disciples in fear began to cry out;
"Master, Master?" was the question of doubt.

He awoke, and with His Word quieted the squall;
"Where is your faith?" he questioned them all.

The disciples were amazed as they looked at the form
of the Man, the I AM, the Author of the storm.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day: To the Naval Daddy AND the Ultimate Boyscout

It's Father's Day.  I love my Heavenly Father.  I love my naval husband-father.  I love hymns.  So, here is a tribute to all those things.

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea!

Father's Day 2012

I know the Ultimate Boyscout. You know, the guy who has near his person at all times no matter the time of year: ponchos, a hammer, snow shovel, snow boots, a gun, batteries, breaker bars, hack saws, extensions, lug nuts (what in the world), tin snips, and twix candy bars. This just scratches the surface. All these things are strategically placed in his Subaru. I once asked the Ultimate Boyscout what he did for a living. His response was, "I prepare for a breakdown." I like to tease the Ultimate Boyscout. Because, you may have guessed it...he's my Daddy!

And, he makes killer omelets.  He has a servant's heart who loves the Heavenly Father...And, I love him!  Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sweet Memories

I had so much time on my hands this week that I actually started to work on baby photo books (a project that I have been putting off for a few years) and I came across some sweet memories of the girls when they were really small.  This clip of Adam and the girls is one of my favorites.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gentleness in Confession

Last night as I was putting the kids to bed, I was gently convicted by the Father via Emily and Elizabeth.  Emily was reading a simple devotional for little girls that I had given my two daughters last year.   The devotional was on seeking forgiveness.  After she read the section, I asked the girls if they could remember anytime during the day when they should have sought forgiveness from God or another person.  They couldn't recall any moments.  Smile.

But, then, Elizabeth told me that she was sometimes scared to tell me if she had done something wrong because she was afraid that I would yell at her.  Oh ouch. 

And, I think back to when any of the children have caused an offense.  My tendency is to usually yell, "Stop!!!"  And, sometimes I add one of these brillant one-liners, "When are you ever going to stop doing that?"  OR  "When are you ever going to learn to do this?"   That's my natural, flesh-filled response that demands immediate obedience and brings immediate shame upon my children.  This is law-driven parenting.

But, as I thought about it later,  I believe that God would have me use those moments of weakness in my children to gently remind them to confess.  Confess that they don't want to share.  Confess that they used harsh words.  Confess that they failed to obey Daddy or Mommy.  And, they should be free to confess their shortcomings knowing that Mommy is going to deal with them gently.  This is grace-filled parenting.

Because, our Heavenly Father gently listens to our confessions.  Our Heavenly Father gently forgives our shortcomings.  And, our Heavenly Father gently helps us when we are weak.  Imaging our Father, our gentleness should be obvious to all, especially our children.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Man of Sorrows

"In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death...Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered." (Hebrews 5:7,8)

"...a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief..." (Isaiah 53:3)

What a comfort to know that Jesus was acquainted with suffering.  Tears were normal for Him.  Christians are called to follow after Him in the same purpose, that of painful suffering (1 Peter 2:21) .  And so, suffering, in its various forms, is normal for the Christian.  It has been said that the Christian life is one of painful joy.  We can also take comfort from the fact as well, that our pain has a purpose.  It is not meaningless, haphazard affliction:

"In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, many be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1: 6,7)

"And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."  (Romans 5:3-5)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Visit with Marta

Marta (my mother-in-law) came to visit over Memorial Day weekend.  While it is hard to sight-see with little ones, we did enjoy two special spots.  Adam took us on a tour of his ship, the USS Kaufman, showing us where he sleeps, works, and eats.  The kids enjoyed going up and down the ladders and looking out on the ocean and knowing now....this is where Daddy works!

We also enjoyed Cape Henry, a lighthouse viewing the Chesapeake Bay.  We had a fun and restful weekend, and the kids were sad to see Marta go home.  They tried with all their might to prevent Marta from leaving them...they love visitors especially ones who bring treats!