We want to say “thank you” for praying for us these past few weeks. This morning, we turned in the manuscript for our forthcoming book to our publisher. You must have been praying hard because this was the first time ever that we have managed to meet our deadline!
So instead of writing a post today we want you to pop on over to the T4G—Together for the Gospel blog and read about Dad’s trip to Southern Seminary. You can also listen to audio from his messages there—two of our favorites (you have to scroll down to find them).
Once again, thank you for your prayers and we’ll see you tomorrow!
Several of you have kindly inquired about my pregnancy. I realized that I neglected to pass on my good news: morning sickness is a thing of the past! I am off Zofran and eating more than enough for two.
Currently I’m at almost nineteen weeks gestation. In a week or so I will have a sonogram to find out whether the baby is a boy or a girl. What do you think it’s going to be? We’ll be sure to let you know. Honestly, I will be thrilled with either. I’m still amazed at God’s goodness in allowing us to have another child.
Yesterday at church we picked up a bassinet some friends are lending to us. As we put it in the back of our car, Jack asked if we could get a baby to go in the baby bed. I told him that we would. “I’m so excited” he said.
Mom suggested I have Steve take a picture of me to go along with this post, but I’m not feeling too photogenic right now. Instead, I am going to put on my “proud aunt” hat and share a picture Janelle sent me this morning of my niece Caly. Isn’t she the cutest thing?
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3
At least this four-year-old applied the lipstick on his lips, or thereabouts, rather than rub it on his parent’s comforter (like one of my precious grandsons did, who of course will remain unnamed). Thanks to Julie Lamey for sending us this cute picture.
Our church had another Family Room meeting last Friday, and once again it was a wonderful time of instruction from God’s Word. This month’s topic was “Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.” Grant Layman (“Uncle Grant”) laid down four foundational truths from Scripture about our God-given roles as men and women. He then examined our sinful tendency to drift from God’s perfect design.
“It would help younger women to know there are a few listening ears when they don’t know what to do with an uncommunicative husband, a 25-pound turkey, or a two-year-old’s tantrum.
It is doubtful that the Apostle Paul had in mind Bible classes or seminars or books when he spoke of teaching younger women. He meant the simple things, the everyday example, the willingness to take time from one’s own concerns to pray with the anxious mother, to walk with her the way of the cross—with its tremendous demands of patience, selflessness, lovingkindness—and to show her, in the ordinariness of Monday through Saturday, how to keep a quiet heart.
These lessons will come perhaps most convincingly through rocking a baby, doing some mending, cooking a supper, or cleaning a refrigerator. Through such an example, one young woman—single or married, Christian or not—may glimpse the mystery of charity and the glory of womanhood.”
My sisters and I will be the first to “amen” Elisabeth on these words. We are doubly blessed as we have both a mother and mothers-in-law committed to caring for us. This week is no exception…
Nancy (Nicole’s mom-in-law) took Jack last night so that Nicole and Steve could have some time out alone. She also watches Jack every Tuesday to bless Nicole with a break.
My mom is doing Kristin’s and my laundry (which is no small pile) even as I write. We leave on a church retreat tomorrow and she wanted to take something off our to-do list. She will also be watching Owen during the retreat.
Kaye (that’s Kristin’s mother-in-law) will be watching Kristin’s two oldest kiddos for the retreat. This requires time off work, but Kaye is happy to do it.
Kim (mom-in-law to me) will be taking Caly while we attend the retreat. Kim also takes Caly each and every Wednesday so that I can as she puts it, “do anything I want.” Wow!
Mom, Nancy, Kaye, and Kim, we cannot thank you enough for the way that you sacrificially serve each of us. You are living the Apostle Paul’s words in Titus 2 and we younger women couldn’t be more grateful!
You don’t have to be a mother or a mother-in-law to apply Titus 2:3-5. Just take a look around and you will find many motherless women in need of that listening ear and practical advice. Give them a call. Offer to babysit or make a meal. Be their friend. “Show her, in the ordinariness of Monday through Saturday, how to keep a quiet heart” so that she “may glimpse the mystery of charity and the glory of womanhood.”
(Quote taken from Elisabeth Elliot, “A Woman’s Mandate,” from Family Practice, ed. R.C. Sproul, Jr. (Phillipsbur, N.J.: P&R Publishing, 2001), p. 62)
Last week, my wonderful husband sent me the following quote from Theodore Roosevelt. I certainly don’t qualify for praise as high as this; but I post it today to encourage all you women who didn’t get much sleep last night or who have been housebound for three weeks with sick children or who just had your clean carpets tracked on by little feet. Yours is no ordinary work. And yet, even more true is the fact that we serve No Ordinary Savior! He will sustain you and enable you to do all that He has called you to do. By His grace, “as your days, so shall your strength be” (Deut. 33:25).
“No ordinary work done by a man is either as hard or as responsible as the work of a woman who is bringing up a family of small children; for upon her time and strength demands are made not only every hour of the day but often every hour of the night. She may have to get up night after night to take care of a sick child, and yet must by day continue to do all her household duties well; and if the family means are scant she must usually enjoy even her rare holidays taking her whole brood of children with her. The birth pangs make all men the debtors of all women. Above all our sympathy and regard are due to the struggling wives among those whom Abraham Lincoln called the plain people, and whom he so loved and trusted; for the lives of these women are often led on the lonely heights of quiet, self-sacrificing heroism. Teddy Roosevelt, 1905
Yes, yes, we are still alive. We were working on the book all weekend, so we took a break from writing today and went to lunch instead of putting up a post. Forgive us please! Here’s a picture of “the girls.”
Tomorrow night my local church is looking forward to our second Family Room meeting. The Family Room is a time for couples and single parents young and old to come and enjoy a wonderful time of fun, fellowship, teaching and entertainment. Grant Layman (my mom’s little brother) used the first night to call us as Christians to prioritize the roles God has given us. Uncle Grant exhorted us to get the “big rocks” of our lives in the jar first. In short, he appealed to us to live intentionally. Over the past few weeks this message has made a practical difference in my every day world. So listen and enjoy applying it to your life.
I have a small confession: I have already started listening to Christmas music. I know, I should at least wait until after Thanksgiving. But it was just one song. Christmas music is some of my favorite and I find it hard to limit myself to the month of December.
So I am very happy and excited to announce the arrival of the very first Sovereign Grace Music Christmas CD. With the title, Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man, this CD is packed full of gospel truth and the real reason we celebrate.
You won’t find any “marshmallows roasting on an open fire” in these songs. The webpage features an interview with the songwriters, a free download (so you too can begin listening to at least one Christmas song!), and a chance to preview sample songs from the project.
Consider with me our culture’s physical beauty yardstick—for women then and women now as explained by author David Powlison:
A hundred years ago women might have compared themselves with the other ten girls in the village. Today, women compare themselves with pictures of the cream of the worldwide fashion industry.
And what ideal image does the worldwide fashion industry put forth as the standard for beauty by which today’s woman is to measure herself?
Well, take a look at what a group of professional hair stylists, make-up artists, and photographers in cahoots with computer graphics were able to create:
To think that women are striving to look like someone who doesn’t even look like herself. It’s absurd!
The Dove Campaign got it partially right—the fashion industry has certainly contributed to a distorted perception of beauty. And yet, their solution—“every girl deserves to feel beautiful just the way she is”—is well-meaning and yet fundamentally unbiblical.
You see, women believe that physical beauty will make them happy, successful, popular among the women, desirable to the men – so they pursue it with a fury!
Physical beauty, however, does not deliver as advertised. Proverbs 31:30 reveals the falsehood and the futility of this quest for beauty: Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain.
Even if every girl did “feel beautiful just the way she is,” it wouldn’t bring her true joy or lasting happiness or solve even one of her problems.
Truth be told, what we all deserve is not to feel beautiful but rather to be condemned to hell for sinfully seeking to attract the worship of our fellow creatures instead of living to bring glory to God.
God did not send Jesus to this earth to die so that women could get over their self-esteem problem and feel better about themselves. No, He sent his Son to die to rescue us from our sinful, futile quest for physical beauty and to reveal to us the satisfaction that comes from knowing God—whether we are beautiful or not!
What freedom and hope is found in Christ! We don’t need to feel beautiful about ourselves to find happiness! In fact, we’re better off not even thinking about ourselves. Rather, God has offered us in Jesus Christ forgiveness, hope, freedom from sin and a joy that never ends.
So while this little video effectively exposes the false front of beauty presented by our culture, let’s not look to Dove’s advertising executives for the solution to the beauty crisis. Rather, let’s join the campaign to tell others of the true freedom that is found in Christ!
We stood with the Yee family on Saturday as they buried their mother at the bottom of a sloping hill, surrounded by enormous swaying trees. Katherine Hubner was not only Kathy’s mother, Andre’s mother-in-law, Kirsten, Stephen and Michael’s Owa—she was our friend too.
Some called her Kate, or Katherine, or Mrs. Hubner. But each one received the same tender hug and exuberant smile every time they saw this eight-two year young woman.
And young at heart she certainly was. By the graveside, Kathy shared stories of riding roller coasters at Disney World, boogie boarding at the Outer Banks, and helmet diving in Bermuda with her aged, yet fun-loving mother.
Katherine grew up in a poor family from Manhattan. Married and had three children. Divorced. It wasn’t until she was sixty-nine years of age that God shined His light into her darkness. “Hers was a simple faith,” remembered Kathy. And yet, as I heard our pastor, Mark, quietly respond, “That is all you need.”
This simple faith expressed itself in every aspect of Katherine’s life. Most clearly it was seen in her love for her family. Her son Louis remembered how hard it was to tear her away from holiday gatherings. “Enjoy your children for the years you have them,” she would encourage her daughter, Kathy—who took her mother’s advice, by the way.
When Katherine moved in with the Yee family four years ago, she brought life and exuberance to their already loving home. She played army men with the boys on the floor, complete with army noises. She talked and laughed with granddaughter Kirsten. She even entered her grandson’s Pine Car Derby. Appropriately her bright-red car was dubbed “Grandma Dynamite.”
Katherine’s love for others extended to our church family. Her pastor Dave Hinders doesn’t remember anyone more excited to become a member than Katherine Hubner. Until recently, Katherine served in our Alpha program on the kitchen crew, alongside other senior citizens and teenage boys. She loved them all. A few weeks ago, after learning of her cancer, one of these fifteen-year-old boys sent her an encouragement note—a small gesture of his appreciation for this elderly woman.
“I only wish,” she told Kathy, soon before she passed “I had more time to serve the Savior. I’m only sorry that I got started so late.”
I thought neighbor and dear friend Eric Jensen summed up Katherine’s life best. “Kate was not a coaster,” he said. “She was cresting to the very end.”
By the grace of God, may this be true of us all.
“So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” Psalm 71:18