On our bedroom wall hangs a framed poem written by Anne Bradstreet (ca. 1612-1672) entitled “To My Dear and Loving Husband.” I gave it to CJ on our 25th wedding anniversary. The first four lines in this poem are my favorite:
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov’d by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
This past week a friend sent me another poem written by the same author. Anne Bradstreet penned this when she and her family lost everything in a house fire. In light of the massive loss that so many in our country are facing at present I thought it might be helpful for all of us to view our earthly homes and possessions through the lense of this godly woman’s biblical perspective.
VERSES UPON THE BURNING OF OUR HOUSE, JULY 18th, 1666
Here follows some verses upon the burning of our house, July. 18th. 1666. Copied out of a loose Paper.
1 In silent night when rest I took,
2 For sorrow near I did not look,
3 I waken’d was with thund’ring noise
4 And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice.
5 That fearful sound of “fire” and “fire,”
6 Let no man know is my Desire.
7 I starting up, the light did spy,
8 And to my God my heart did cry
9 To straighten me in my Distress
10 And not to leave me succourless.
11 Then coming out, behold a space
12 The flame consume my dwelling place.
13 And when I could no longer look,
14 I blest his grace that gave and took,
15 That laid my goods now in the dust.
16 Yea, so it was, and so ‘twas just.
17 It was his own; it was not mine.
18 Far be it that I should repine,
19 He might of all justly bereft
20 But yet sufficient for us left.
21 When by the Ruins oft I past
22 My sorrowing eyes aside did cast
23 And here and there the places spy
24 Where oft I sate and long did lie.
25 Here stood that Trunk, and there that chest,
26 There lay that store I counted best,
27 My pleasant things in ashes lie
28 And them behold no more shall I.
29 Under the roof no guest shall sit,
30 Nor at thy Table eat a bit.
31 No pleasant talk shall ‘ere be told
32 Nor things recounted done of old.
33 No Candle ‘ere shall shine in Thee,
34 Nor bridegroom’s voice ere heard shall be.
35 In silence ever shalt thou lie.
36 Adieu, Adieu, All’s Vanity.
37 Then straight I ‘gin my heart to chide:
38 And did thy wealth on earth abide,
39 Didst fix thy hope on mouldring dust,
40 The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?
41 Raise up thy thoughts above the sky
42 That dunghill mists away may fly.
43 Thou hast a house on high erect
44 Fram’d by that mighty Architect,
45 With glory richly furnished
46 Stands permanent, though this be fled.
47 It’s purchased and paid for too
48 By him who hath enough to do.
49 A price so vast as is unknown,
50 Yet by his gift is made thine own.
51 There’s wealth enough; I need no more.
52 Farewell, my self; farewell, my store.
53 The world no longer let me love;
54 My hope and Treasure lies above.
I’m back with yet another winner from our Friday Funnies contest! This entry comes to us from Kim Polk…
One day we were in the car and my 4yr old overheard me telling my husband that the Salvation Army was coming tomorrow to pick up our couch. JoJo said “Who is coming tomorrow?” I said the “Salvation Army” and he asked “Who are they?” Not thinking how the words Salvation Army sounded to a small child I simply said that they were coming to get our couch because we didn’t want it any more. He was quiet for a few moments and then in a timid voice said “Will they have guns?”
Have a great weekend, everyone.
As we promised earlier, you can now make an online donation to support hurricane relief at the Sovereign Grace Ministries website.
This has been a tragic and sobering week in New Orleans and the entire Gulf-Coast region. However, many articles have been written to help us “make sense of it all” from a biblical perspective. Here are two of the most helpful.
Justin Taylor links to what he considers “the best commentary yet to appear on Katrina” by Samuel Storms.
Al Mohler links to a moving article by Dr. Russell Moore whose town was destroyed by the hurricane.
Sovereign Grace Ministries is in the process of setting up a disaster relief fund where you can contribute to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Once a link is set up (later this afternoon) we will post that information.
Most importantly, let’s continue to keep all those suffering the effects of Hurricane Katrina in our prayers.
It’s that time of year again: Back to school. Of course, I’m not going back to school and my two-year old Jack isn’t quite ready yet (maybe next year?), but I still have the urge to post a new fall schedule on the refrigerator.
So when Kristin told me she’d received a list of ideas for entertaining toddlers from a mom in her church, I immediately said: “Send it to me!” (That was an imperative sentence for all those grammar buffs out there. That’s about all I remember from elementary grammar. I probably could use some remedial schooling!)
I can’t wait to turn this list (and other lists I’ve collected) into a brand-spanking new schedule for Jack. But I thought some of my fellow “moms of bored toddlers” might also appreciate these ideas. And I bet homeschooling moms with toddlers will appreciate them even more! So we’ve received permission from Elise Finch, who compiled this list, to allow us to post it here .
My love of “schedule” was deeply impressed upon me by my mother. I remember her often quoting Elisabeth Elliot, “God is a God of order.” And now that I am a mom, she often encourages me to strive for order in my home and with Jack. Having experienced the benefits, I’m eager to follow her advice.
“Children thrive in an environment where there is peace and order,” she’s told me. “They know what to expect and what is expected of them. Order, structure, schedule—all help you as the mom enforce the rules, because you know what the rules are and you’ve made them clear to your children. Order in the home teaches children that there are boundaries. It helps them develop self-control.”
Wise advice! But, as I’ve discovered, order doesn’t “just happen.” It can also very quickly “un-happen!” I have to plan, prepare, and persevere, if I want order to characterize my home. And I must confess here that order is probably not the first word that would pop into your head if you visited my home today! We just got new floors put in and don’t have closets yet. So my house is in a bit of disrepair! However, I continue to strive for order. And collecting ideas from other moms such as Elise is one of the keys to pursuing order in my home. With that in mind, I have to pass along one more idea that I learned from a wonderful, godly mom, Laurie Reyes. It’s the concept of “blanket time.”
“What is blanket time? It is a survival technique I employ for that time of the day when we all need a break from each other particularly helpful for post-nap-age children. Here’s how it works: Each of my children have a blanket that they spread on the floor in different rooms of the house. They each bring something to play with. This would include maybe legos, army men with blocks, puzzles, and adventure sets. In other words, they need to choose something that can keep them entertained for a while. I usually give them a crumb-free snack (fruit snacks, grapes, apples, cheerios), a spill proof sports bottle with H2O or juice, and maybe put on music if it is available in the room they chose. Blanket time lasts about an hour, but you may want to start shorter. (a timer/clock helps so they don’t keep asking, ‘is it over yet?’).”
Jack still takes a nap, but I’m keeping this idea in my back pocket! Most of all, I want to emulate Elise, Laurie, and many other moms I know in pursuing order and structure in my home for the glory of God. I pray that Jack will experience the peace that comes as a result.