What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, February 07, 2019

The Only Resolution That Matters To Me

If you've wondered where I have been, I can say it has mostly been in a haze.

January 23rd saw New York's Gov Andrew Cuomo sign into law the legality of murdering a 9 month old in-utero baby, with no limitations on age or stage, even up until and during natural delivery.  And the whole crowd gave a standing ovation.  Just a few short days later, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (who happens to be a PEDIATRIC neurologist, by the way) seemed to be totally fine with deciding, after delivery, whether or not to murder an already born child.  And then, in true audacious rebellion, they light the rebuilt World Trade Center spire- a memorial of the evil, murderous actions humanity takes against humanity that disgusting fuschia pink of woman.  The fuschia pink of death.

Since the whole 'clump of cells' argument is pretty much outdated, even within the pro-choice community- so it is that now a matter of whose life matters MORE.  It is no wonder that a woman who doesn't want her child at 8 weeks and ought to be allowed to murder it, should also be allowed not to want her child at 25 weeks or 40 weeks and murder them.  I wonder what will happen to those women who decide they don't want their newborn, two month old or six month old and decide to leave them in attics, or throw them from balconies or stuff them in garbage bags.  (No, these aren't hypothetical situations.  These are all real-life news stories I have read about in the last six months.)  Right now these women go to jail.  But just a few short years ago Kermit Gosnell went to jail (and was convicted for life) for something the whole world was horrified by and now the NY Democrats have signed into law and give standing ovations for.  Who knows where women like them will eventually wind up.

I can't seem to wrap my mind around this.  I feel physically ill at the thought.  I can think of nothing else.  I promised some New Years' resolutions, but thinking of resolutions for myself while the bodies of babies pile up around me, seems a bit ludicrous.  How can I think of planting seeds or saving money or reading chapter books to the children round about me when I know of the over 60 million babies that have been legally murdered in this country and do nothing?  That more black babies are aborted in New York City than are born alive?  That although there is NO MEDICAL CIRCUMSTANCE in which a third trimester abortion is necessary, this is being used as an excuse to just discard a child instead of allowing them to survive on their own and be given into a loving family who wants them.  That in New York it is now illegal and cruel to give murderous criminals the death penalty by injection but not so the defenseless baby.

The weight of it presses down.  I am reeling and my stomach turns.  It feels hopeless.  And while I have heard many people cry out in response "Lord Jesus Come Quickly!", I believe that seeings how the Bible is the very Words of God and all, when it says “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” He means it. And when scripture says  For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea, it is true.  I know these things will happen, because the Bible says so, but  CLEARLY, they haven't happened yet.

Which means, my friends, there is WORK to do.

And I guess that is the only resolution that is worth anything to me this year.

We can pray.  We MUST pray.  Particularly, prayers like this.

And we need to be vocal.

I have often thought about how easy it is to say that we would NOT participate in the human injustices of slavery had I been born then.  (Those wicked slave holders, how could they?!?)  And I have thought how I would have fought nobly back at Hitlers' regime of murder and death, like my grandparents did during World War II.  (How could everyone just standby and allow that to happen to their friends/neighbors/family/anyone?!?)  AND YET.   Here we are with a greater death toll in our lifetime than in either of these atrocities- and we are silently enduring the blood in our streets and towns and nation.  We need to stop being the 'silent majority' and start being the Loud and Proud majority.

It shouldn't be a radical idea that murdering other humans is a bad thing.

It may seem like a single person can't do anything.  I think I have felt this quite often.  But as with Jon Speed in Syracuse, NY whose single act of closing his bookshop for the day and putting a sign on his door seemed to rally support from all over the nation, who knows what each of our single, small acts can do to encourage a nation to stand up and speak out.

We need to be informed.  I love listening to Crosspolitic on Youtube- their shows each week are an very interesting and engaging, a fun way to keep informed with the craziness of the news and how it relates to our Christian walk.  They are great.  I listen to them when I am making dinner.  I also like this gals' podcast.  And Apologia Radio's podcasts are incredible- they are doing a powerful work within the abortion debate. (If you have any great podcasts or resources- let us know in the comments!)

We need to act.  We need to financially support pro-life companies, businesses and people.  We need to financially support those who are fighting to tell the truth and minister to those thinking about abortions.  (And we need to be those people too.)  We need to stand outside abortion clinics.  We need to come alongside these women who feel helpless and support them, encourage them and HELP them.  We need to be willing to adopt babies whose mothers think that abortion is the only option.  (PS. If you are one of those mothers right now- Matt and I will help you!  Contact me!)  We need to teach our children about the world they live in and how to think biblically about such issues.  We need to call Representatives and sign petitions!  We need to stand in solidarity with people for the lives of the unborn.

And here is a perfect opportunity!

February 23rd, one month from the date of Cuomo's legislation, has been declared a Day of Mourning for New York.  From their website:

"We are heading to New York to call the nation to repentance! We are asking the nation to stand in solidarity with our preborn neighbors on February 23rd and:

We will signify this act with a rally of repentance and protest in Albany, New York where the gruesome infanticide law was signed and celebrated. Stay tuned for more details on the rally. "

 If you can, come to Albany! We Newmans are hoping to go- maybe we will see each other there!  If you can't go, stay where you are and do those four things!  Or donate to the cause- there are expenses involved in putting something like this on.

And finally, there is one other thing we can do.  And this thing is no small thing.  And one that involves more than just a day of your time or a moment on the phone or in a voting booth.  That is, as Christians, we can understand that children are a gift and blessing from God, who bear the image of God- and we should embrace that truth instead of believing the idea that children are a burden or inconvenience or something WE decide we want when we want them.  If God says they are a blessing, then they ARE.  We need to be having babies, baptizing them, joyfully wiping their noses and cutting their food, educating them and talking to them about hard things and good things, staying up in the night with them when they are sick, teaching them and bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, feeding them physically and spiritually SO THAT they too, can do the same to THEIR children and them, to THEIR children until eventually and by God's grace and mercy to us...

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD,

And all the families of the nations will worship before You. For the kingdom is the Lord’s
And He rules over the nations.
All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship,
All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.
Posterity will serve Him;
It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation.
They will come and will declare His righteousness
To a people who will be born, that He has performed it (Psalm 22:27-31).

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Get On With It

Because I do this thing... here are my FAILURES for all the world to see and admire!  (WHY do I do this thing again?!?!)

2018 goals...

(thanks to puppies and tax returns, we were able to accomplish a lot here!)
. save to pay for a new window in Dining Room (replacing the one that is currently broken in half and being held together by duct tape.)
. pay off Rebecca medical bills and start on Adele' medical bills. (just in time for Judah medical bills!)
. pay off van
. pay for cow to be butchered
. pay off credit card BEFORE tax return (twice!)
. begin Andrew dental work fund.  VERY IMPORTANT.
. pay half of tractor loan
. Review/Revise Budget at the start of every month.  

~ Hopestead ~
. repaint living room
. try growing spaghetti squash (they are GOOD!)
. add at least one nut tree/bush
. add grapes  (though I think they died...)
. make new strawberry patch using any plants I can find still growing in the old one.
. re-do girls room, staying within budget (I added to the girls room fund until we reached our financial goal but Matt never found the time to get the project started.  But it is happening...this is the next big project in the queue.)

~ Personal ~
. read scripture at least 3 times a week.  (Log in book journal books as they are completed until whole Bible has been read.) I can't say I did this without fail but I was pretty good until about halfway through the year and then it started to fizzle a bit.  :-(  I wasn't faithful enough at this to scratch it out though.  Work in Progress.
. pray often for the Parsig family this year  (Turns out, this was the most prayerful year I've ever lived.)
schedule computer time
. lose at least 10 pounds by July (I'd like to say 20 but let's be real, shall we?) (Thanks to the keto diet, I lost 26 pounds.  And then, because I am a stress eater and had one of the most stressful events of my life, I wound up gaining 20 of it back from September to January.  No.  I DON'T want to talk about it.)
. exercise at least 3 times a week through winter. (I'd like to do this all year but hot summers and busy canning seasons always shut me down.  I want to be sure I can check this off next January- so I am giving myself grace.  I can certainly continue after winter.) (HA. No I can't!   I am SO not an exerciser.)
. read more books than last year.  Continue to log them (At least 22 books.)(I read 25!  Booyah!)*
. Read aloud at least 12 for-pleasure chapter books to children. (not 12 total but MORE than in the past- so I am heading in the right direction.)**
. read at least one Lord of the Rings book with Corynn (shoot!  I thought this was Harry Potter so I made sure to squeeze that in this year.  Not realizing it was Lord of the Rings!  Yikes.  This reminds me though- because I listened to it on audiobook, I never logged it into my book log...which means I read 26 books.  Booyah again.)
. Make a Heritage photo album of all of the old photos we keep accumulating and/or are making copies of.  Nothing fancy- just put them in an album instead of in old books.  ;-)
. Less than 10 cups of soda the whole year.  (Only in emergency cases of extreme migraine/sleep exhaustion.  Again- grace.) (Only Eight.  Woot Woot!)
. Make Judah baby album
. Do enough yarn projects this year to empty at least one basket of yarn. (I am gonna strike this out because I used a lot of yarn this year- but because I shift yarn from basket to basket as I am using it- I never actually wound up with an empty basket.  But I am pretty sure I used up a basket worth of yarn up.) 
. Make handmade gifts for my parents and parents' in law for Christmas next year. (Made the Moms handmade gifts but not the Dads.)

* Books/Audiobooks for Myself:

The River of Doubt by Candice Millard
Popes and Feminists by Elise Crapuchettes
Lila by Marilynne Robinson
The Question of God by Armand Nicholi
The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
And Still She Laughs by Kate Merrick
Jack and Jill by Louisa May Alcott
Killing The Rising Sun by Bill 'O Reilly
The Joyful Christian by C.S.Lewis
The Deluded Atheist by Douglas Wilson
Seven Men by Eric Metaxas
Home by Marilynne Robinson
Killer Angel by George Grant
Is Jesus Coming Soon? by Gary Demar
Mere Christianity by C.S.Lewis
Godric by Fredrick Buechner
Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill
The Old Man and the Sea by E. Hemmingway
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Afterlife of Billy Fingers by Annie Kagan
Adopted For Life by Russell Moore
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
A Grief Observed by C.S.Lewis
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers

** Books/Audiobooks with Children:

Echo by Pam Munoz (I prefer the audiobook to the actual book-it is excellent!)
The Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Harry Potter: The Sorcerers' Stone by J.K.Rowling
The Green Ember by S.D.Smith
Nooks and Crannies by Jessica Lawson
The Flint Heart by Edin Phillpots
Nightbird by Alice Hoffman
Mary Poppins by P.L.Travers
Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula (still working through this)

And to make me feel less like a loser, and end this thing with a BANG, I put all my handmades into one handy dandy photo collage....just goes to show you a little bit of time eeked out every now and again really does add up to something!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

First Things First

You know what the very first thing I did in 2019 was?  

(I mean besides brushing my teeth, feeding this tribe breakfast, getting clothes on myself and the Not-Quite-Baby and all that manual labor that is required daily...)  (hmph!  Clothes! posh!)

I organized all the drawers in the kitchen.  Threw extra utensils (probably not enough) into donation bags.  Dumped all the crumbs piling up in the corners. Gave a tour to the children of how I want things returned to the drawers.  

It is strange I know, but it gave me a serious sense of accomplishment and joy to have every drawer full of utensils facing the same direction. 

(My 2019 resolutions and 2018 reflections post coming soon...)

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Three Weeks of Christmas

I started this post last week, lamenting it was already the first week of January.  And then I blinked and a week had passed.  Now it is TWO weeks into January and I am feeling the need to just photo dump the last month.

Christmas Day was spent at home, quiet, leisurely and fun.  We spent the day in our pj's.  Played games.  I cried buckets because of The.Perfect.Christmas.Gift. ever.  The kids ate stocking candy for breakfast.  Sausage gravy on toast for brunch.  Lasagna made the day before for supper.  That's as low key a day of meals that can be had around here so- totally relaxing.

The next weekend was Matt's side of the family Christmas.

The weekend after that was my side of the family Christmas, which we hosted here as usual.

It seemed to be perpetually Christmas!  And now, though I miss the twinkle of Christmas tree lights and gold glitter everywhere, I am ready to take on the New Year- though we are already halfway through the first month.

This may be perfectly telling of how 2019 may be for me.  Me, perpetually behind and frantically trying to hold onto time- to no avail.  (That sounds about right!)

Here's three weeks of Christmas....  DUMP!

Corynn's Christmas Tea partner lives in Giant Country apparently, because her 'tea box' looked more like a PEACHES box to me.  ;-) 

The cutest soap making supply I've got.  

teethers for the Twinnies

Don't look now but there is an Indiana Jones' shady sort of character scaling the Christmas tree!

Soap Tip: If you have a block of glycerin soap that has been sitting unused and dusty in a corner... shave off the dusty tops to discard and then think that they are pretty enough to add to a batch of clear soap.  And do it, dust and all.  It totally works.

Christmas morning: Bible first.  Chaos after.

Andrew bought Papa a pool table, knowing how much he pines for his own someday.

It was kinda hilarious to see his big man hands daintily holding the balls and stick.  

"She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain." -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Adele' got her dream home for Christmas and BAGS of Playmobile thanks to some kind cast-offs.  The poor house wasn't given a rest for the rest of the day.

The fanciest part of Christmas day was the dinner that included fresh salad and lasagna made the day before.  The rest of the day could be pretty much summed up with "pj's, games and Playmobil".  

I found a little travelling circus at Aldi last summer that included a pretty pathetic lion, ringleader and clown.  But I loved the circus 'house' so I snatched it up anyway.  For Ineke's Christmas present, I painted some peg people/creatures to make it a less lame circus act.   I added shiny metallic nailpolish, felt, buttons, pompoms, sequins and fabric paint to make it a bit more tactile too.

Homemade sugar cookie whipped body butter for lots of ladies in my life.

A pirate's loot came in the mail!

The best book ever for Corynn, who rather resembles the man in the front cover in her love of chickens (and the chores they require!)  Thank you, Mary!

This dough ball was like Lucille's- it made a huge cinnamon snowflake bread, three pizzas, and two loaves of bread and almost swallowed my counter whole when it had fully risen.

I had a helper making the Christmas snowflake this year!

Meat quiche and vegetarian quiche.  Not sure which I liked best.

He's anxious for the food party to start.

I added so many pictures of the Island of Food because I want you to notice where Ineke happened to be the entire party...

...usually with a mouthful of donut.
She very discreetly plucked them from the back of the donut tree so as to go about undetected.  She's a clever one.

She ate her weight in donut holes.  It looks like it *may* be catching up to her at this point. (Notice the food hasn't even been touched yet.)  She had many more hours of snitching still to do.

hey!  No Kissie  face!

A kitty pillow for my niece CC who loves kitties... this monster was about the size as a bed pillow.  

reindeer pjs for my nephew David

I know I did good on Matt's book present this year because I am feeling like Allan Eckert and I are in some serious competition for Matt's attentions these days.  (Finish it already, would ya?!)

A puppy tote bag for my little sister Aletta

my favorite Christmas gift.  Of all time.