Monday, October 6, 2014

| hungry. |


He was the classic down-and-outer—greasy untrimmed hair falling out from beneath an ancient baseball cap, blue jeans that would have taken my mama a year to wash and patch, teeth stained with neglect, sagging backpack dangling from his shoulders, and eyes that stared vacantly at a world that had doubtless dealt him disappointment time and time again.
His cardboard sign spelled the obvious: “Hungry. Please Help” with a “God Bless” scribbled near the bottom.
He was gone in a minute, for we, like the rest of rush-hour traffic, were in the middle of the freeway and could not stop to grant his request. When we drove past the intersection an hour later where he had, his corner beside the telephone pole was empty. It was getting dark, and we had to wonder where he was going to sleep tonight—or if he would sleep at all.
At a different intersection we frequent, the individual clutching the cardboard sign was a girl. She  couldn’t have been more than eighteen years old, standing beside the traffic light with her backpack leaning against her legs. It was February then, and she wasn’t wearing anything more than a hoodie, some dingy Converse, and a pair of blue jeans.
These are the people that Jesus would have stopped and eaten a meal with, but we so often look away with hardly a second thought as to their welfare.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not trying to point fingers of accusation in anyone’s face. So often, I am the culprit who takes one commiserating glance and then forgets.
I realize that plenty of these people could earn themselves a better life if they chose, and that many of them loiter on intersections and manipulate the public’s sympathies with signs requesting handouts, merely to gratify their own corrupt addictions.
Still, there are those who truly are destitute and depend on compassion just to get through each day.
Far greater even than the physical needs of these people is the vacancy in their souls—the vacancy that only faith in our Savior’s sacrifice can fill. Who is nourishing the hunger in their hearts with the Gospel?
Jesus said, “If you do it for the least of these, you have done it unto me.”
What are we doing?

              God Bless,

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

| recently. |

My theme verse these days...

Given that this is kind of a summary of all the goodbyes I have been doing the past few days, I am extremely tempted to make it short and sweet, but since I may or may not have the time to compose many posts in the very near future, I'll try to say a few really nice things, about how much I am going to miss my dear parents and my five siblings, about how I am feeling quite unsure of  how to think of coping with my canine bed partner, (she's unbelievably sweet, for anyone who happens to be gagging at the thought of a dog in a bed) and how it feels not a little terrifying to imagine moving from the second-to-least populated state in the country to the second-to-most populated state in the country, not to mention flying alone by myself for the first time, and~ okay, I'm going to stop. Lest my already chilly feet drop several more degrees.
Okay, it's not that bad... I hope.:) My brain has begged a vacation from overuse (or taken one without asking, I'm not sure which) so I apologize beforehand for the quality in sentence structure and general clarity, or lack thereof.
Last July I had a sweet friend from Texas email me and ask me if I would consider moving down there for the next nine months and help her teach in her church's small school. After much praying, talking everything over with my parents, and getting more familiar with the situation, I agreed to come.
So my brain is still grappling to process these thoughts, so please give it grace! :) Lord willing, I'm going to be flying out this upcoming Saturday, and we'll be starting school Tuesday, the day after Labor day. The fact that a mere homeschooled teen like me is going to be teaching actual classes ( 2nd and 3rd grades) in a real school is exciting and terrifying at the same time, so I'm praying that the Lord will overcome every obstacle for me (most especially my own fear) and make all of the crooked paths straight for me. Which He has proven He has an amazing ability to do... if not obstructed through my own stubborn lack of faith.

An amazing family whom we have become very close with over the years hosted a goodbye picnic for me last weekend. To write that saying goodbye to some of my dearest friends was difficult would be the understatement of the year, but God has really given my composure strength it normally couldn't boast in any situation. We had a blast playing volleyball and chatting, which helped to dilute the bitterness of actually saying goodbye to some of the people I love the most.
I haven't said the hardest goodbye yet, which will be at the airport this upcoming Saturday morning when my family drops me off, but I should admit it right now~ I'm going to miss them like crazy. :( I never knew how much I loved my crazy brothers (who likely learned their craziness from me) until I took into consideration that I wasn't going to see them again for three months, then again for six months. And my baby sister, and my parents... I love you all sooooooooo much!
I was doing some swimming and canoeing with two of my brothers this afternoon and it was like, I'm actually leaving these guys?
But my family feels complete peace about my going, and so should I, if I wasn't such a . . . okay, I'll say it.
But... I'm excited, too.
Some of the pictures from Saturday night.

My brother in his characteristic volleyball pose~ the champion, or so he'd like to appear. Okay, Matt~ I have to tease you a little. I won't get to do it after this weekend for a while. :(

I'm going to miss you girls. . .

This one was a week ago Sunday.

Given that I have other things that beg for my time more than the internet, I'm going to say goodnight.:)
I'll try to post in the future, provided I have time.:)

God Bless,

Friday, July 25, 2014

| do it simple. |


*Another one of my draft-folder posts written back in May; no, we don't turkey hunt in July.:)*

Oh, the beauty of an existence set a good fair piece from I-89 and the nearest Wal-Mart. Not that everyone is that lucky—blessed, I mean—and to be sure, we spend a considerable spell away from the home place, absorbed with what Solomon might label vanity, had he experienced it when he penned Ecclesiastes. 
But oh, it feels sweet as a peach to set the commotion aside for a spell, listen to the crickets at night, drink my coffee on the front porch in the early morning, and laugh as my little brother tries—not so successfully to make me understand the mechanisms of the hydraulics in the John Deere.
The simple life is an elusive and even intangible cup of tea these days. Perhaps even a lost art, misplaced by smartphones, texting, and the like. Bless all smartphone's hearts, (if they happen to possess hearts; in this technological age, for all I know, they do) but do they ever seem glued to the palms of the population these days. I beg your pardon if I've caused your eyebrows to lift a touch; I didn't mean to offend. I find these things called smartphones most convenient, if I do say so myself. But how can you remember to listen for something as soft as a whippoorwill’s croon if you’re relentlessly on the watch for your friends’ texts: “hey u. hows it goin. i had a blst wi my buddy 2day.  hope 2 c u soon. p.s. hope this txt helps u find ur lost phone. bye.”
I know we can’t regain everything 
we've allowed to fall through our fingers, but I hope what I haven’t lost yet, I won’t let go of through the clamor of a chaotic existence. 
So many little things fly so quickly. Your text inbox doesn't empty til you’re so sick of reading those old texts again and again that you finally trash them and start all over again. Your emails are permanent, until you delete them. 
But the smell of the chamomile you grew yourself, the fun of mimicking your favorite movie with your brother, the dreams you share with your friend, will one day be lost. You’ll never have them back. I’ll never have them back.
Keep on texting; it’s the standard mode of communication at the moment. Who knows when a closeted Steve Jobs will dream up something even more time-economical than texting. 
But revel in the precious moments that don’t require technology. In due course, they’ll evaporate before you wish them gone.
By the way, this is as much an admonishment to myself as to any eyes who may be reading. I’m guilty as charged when it comes to excessive networking. It’s a tough pill to digest, this thing of saying no to a world begging to be communicated with. 
But by God’s grace, I want to do it.
Think of the blessings to be gained.
The other day, Zach came home with the first tom he’s ever shot. Thus far, the only prizes he’s lugged home to the butchering board have been jakes. This hefty catch was, lo and behold, a tom. Sporting a nine-inch beard and a pair of spurs long and jagged enough to make any Cabela’s fanatic covetous. 
“Aren’t you going to come and see it?” he asked me. 
“In a minute,” I said. 
“A minute’s gone by already,” he said. 
“You mean you actually wanted me to come now?” 
“Yeah, I meant now.”
And that’s when I stopped and listened. And thought. And learned. I hope.
Life is now. What we’re doing now. That’s what counts. And whether what we’re filling the “now” with will matter in eternity or not.
Well, I’d better go find a snack and a better use of my time. Come to think of it, the veggie patch by the barn is a rainforest of weeds. Maybe we could turn it into a game or something. Who can pick the most weeds the fastest. Who can crack the funniest joke.
And get something done in the meantime.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

| of summer laziness + related symptoms. |

I declare, how bewitching are the qualities of summer. We've idled away exorbitant quantities of hours lazing on a sun-saturated lawn laughing at the absurdity of jokes crafted for kiddos much younger than ourselves, fishing with little success, unless, of course, my presence is not an ingredient (I have a habit of losing lures), made a sincere pretense at working in the garden and enjoyed numerous dirt-throwing fights in between, and washed it all down with far more ice cream than one family should consume.
Okay, we're not that lazy.
While a choir of crickets outside serenades all God's creation and my brothers loll in sweaty exhaustion on the couch downstairs, I moseyed on over to the blog and noticed that nearly a month had elapsed since I had paid the old thing any attention. Perhaps that's not as tragic a fact as I just made it sound. Without the well-meaning interference of the Internet in my life, I might just be a far more stable and industrious individual. 
But, before this brain rambles on more than it ought, I should recall the reason I decided to idle away more time here in the first place.
Of late I was informed that a young lady had awarded me on her blog with the Sunflower Blog Award. Thanks, Chloe!

Chloe's questions:

Who was the first person you talked to today?
My sister, I believe. Sheepishly responding to her incredulously wondering when I was ever going to get up.

What was the first thing you said today?
Oh, wait, if I'm not mistaken, I confessed that two sentences ago.

When was the last time you cried?
To be honest, I don't recall.

If you could be in any stage in your life, what would it be?
Definitely a thought-provoker. I can't say I know for sure. I realize that these answers are disconnected and vague. Oh, wait. But, "I have learned at whatsoever season I am in, to be content." (Paraphrased, courtesy of my memory, or lack thereof) Not that I have learned, but God is showing me how.

What is your greatest dream?
Am I allowed to have more than one? To live closer each day to my heavenly Father, to show others the depth with which He loves them, and, should it be His will, enjoy a family of my own someday. On more days than I wish to admit my focus is not what it should be, but again, I have a Father who is patient.

If you could hop into any film, which would it be?
Little House on the Prairie. Typed with far more conviction than necessary. I suffer from an obsession with the wild and woolly west in the days of its glory, which usually manifests itself if I'm writing a story.

If you could be friends with any fictional or real character, who would it be:
Given the number of volumes stashed in my room, I shouldn't be batting an eye, but... well, let's just say Laura from the Little House series, and leave it at that.

What was the funnest thing you did recently?
Volleyball, volleyball, and volleyball. Although, I have been enjoying recent walks and conversations with parents as well.

What are you most looking forward to this next month?
I just know I'm not forward to the delightful experience awaiting me on the morrow. At least I have two siblings to stand as partners in crime (and subsequent painful punishment)
In other words, I'm getting my very first cavity filled. Lesson learned: avoid candy, gum, and the like with fresh vigor that I certainly don't feel at the moment.
But, on a more positive note: I'm greatly looking forward to watching my brother get baptized at the end of the month, and seeing one of my best friends on the Fourth.

What is your favorite food to eat:
Generally the food that accompanies the painful experiences described previously. Don't eat it.

Do you keep a diary?

Yes, and I write in it often.

The rules state that the awarded individual nominate six other bloggers with less than two hundred followers, which I did. Girls, here you are:
The rules: Link back to the person who nominated you, and answer as you see fit, at your leisure.


1. What is your favorite Christian song? What does it mean to you?
2.  Pretend you are writing a fictitious story about a courageous and valiant heroine who sacrifices her life for her family. What would you name her?
3. If you could live in any period of history for one year, which would you choose?
4. If you could play one, which would it be? Baroque-style cello or Appalachian-style mandolin?
5. If you could master any accent, what would it be?
6. Courtship or dating?
7. Espresso or pink lemonade?
8. Would you describe yourself as dreamy and idealistic, or practical and down-to-earth?
9. Given the choice, which country would you visit on a two-week mission trip?
10. What Scripture verse means the most to you?

In conclusion, I decided to include a Scripture that I've found meaningful lately.

With the tangled knots of threats to the Earth (albeit, I quote a local columnist who stated that man thinks too highly of himself if he considers himself capable of destroying the Earth), wars and rumors of wars, and my own myriad of personal temptations, it's the most gratifying thing in the world to reflect that the Father has given His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, dominion over heaven and earth, powers and principality, over our futures and the enemy who would love to rip them in pieces. Lord, continue to pour Your peace all over me, and teach me to trust in You more than in myself. 

"Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come."

 Ephesians 1:20~21

Considering the length of this post and the lateness of the hour, I shall retire.
The end.

Author's Note: This post resided a spell in the draft folder before reaching the publishing stage; no, I don't consider 9:00 PM a late hour, especially on a summer night. J

And to all a good night,

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

| grace enough. |

As I sat and scribbled (well, typed) this into the draft folder, I could smell several fresh loaves of oatmeal bread cooling on the kitchen table, hear the hum of Mama's Bernina as she created a new jumper for Esther Joy, and the drone of the tractor down by the barn as the men pampered it with grease, gas and whatnot. The sun was shining, and the world was good.
Or rather, it ought to have been.
My heart was feeling rather queasy that week. Usually an adjective used to describe one's stomach, but I'm going to use it to describe my heart. It's been a timeworn struggle for me, and one that a spell on my knees doesn't always remedy. (My fault, certainly not God's.)
Sometimes I look at this world with its profusion of beauty, as well as its tattered, neglected needs, and I ask the Father, rather selfishly, what corner He had in mind when He gave me a life and a soul to call my own. What unoccupied gap did He design for me to fill? When He watches the sparrows fall, does He remember me?
Thoughts are dangerous things. They can trap and twist and spin a web of self-pity around one's heart without one even realizing it.
And thoughts swirling around the subject of "me, myself, and I" are so adept at weaving such a snare. Capable of pitying and pampering every carnal proclivity within us, yet so subtle with their petting.
Self-absorption. The craftiest enemy of every stay-at-home daughter. Within the confines of these four walls, waiting for our calling to fall into our laps, how easy a matter it is to lose our verve and vision within the sticky comforts of single daughterhood.
Or, perhaps an even more treacherous picture, a case of unhappiness because of the workload we balance day after day, without the kind of thanks our flesh convinces us we should have.
And all the while, the calling seems so distant. So uncertian.
Look for a face somewhere in the crowd, a heart you know has seen less blessings than you have, and pray for grace to pour a little oil into their cruse. A way to soften whatever they may be facing today, without the desire for recognition.
Is it hard? For me? It's impossible. My family who knows my native selfishness can attest to the fact.
That's why we have God.
With Him, it is not impossible.
That needy heart might be closer than you (and I) think. Not out of our reach as the famished child with the flies on his lip may be. That heart may belong to our mother. Or our friend's mother. Or someone we hardly think of as more than a stranger.
It could be something so simple as changing a diaper so someone else's hands can take a rest. Or tying a pair of shoelaces for a tyke who doesn't know how. Or washing dishes you didn't dirty. Or giving a few minutes of your time to encourage someone you don't know as well as your best friend.
As daughters, let's look outside our own comfort zones for a heart craving kindness, and pray for grace enough to give it.

God will be faithful.
He promised. 


Monday, May 26, 2014

| sunny skies + rhubarb pies. |


In the words of Katherine Mortimer, the heroine hailing from Elizabeth Prentiss' Stepping Heavenward“the weather is getting perfectly delicious.” Delicious: meaning that the balmy warmth we've been soaking up is so sweet that you feel like slurping it up with your tongue and expecting it to taste like nectar.Or maybe like rhubarb pie, I guess. Something deliciously sweet, sticky, and springy, if “spring-y” is a word.

While at the home of some of our dearest friends a couple Sundays ago, we were treated to one of the most delicious desserts we’ve enjoyed in a coon’s age. To borrow another of Daddy’s expressions.
 I’ve been vaguely familiar with rhubarb in the past, having tasted it occasionally in a pie or a cake, usually mixed with strawberries or some other ingredient that diluted the tang.

 I can’t remember another time when I actually enjoyed it on its own, and perhaps I’ve graduated to the purist stage that insists on devouring its favorite food unaltered by extras. 

We finally got around to fixing a pie of our own this past week, and while the recipe required an amount of sugar that made me fear for my waistline, I think my brothers must’ve been all right with it, for they promptly cleaned out half of it in twenty minutes.

And honestly, if you’re a family cook, that should mean success, shouldn’t it? There’ve been plenty of instances when I’ve tried to discourage my four brothers from being too unrestrained in their consumption of my cooking, but it’s to my shame, not theirs.

After all, that’s what it’s for.

So one of the kiddos let impatience have her imperfect work and nibbled a chunk of the crust off.

Excuse it.

*   *   *
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 cups rhubarb, cubed
1 pinch cinnamon
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 9 inch pastry crust

Roll out pie crust and fit it into a 9 inch pie plate.  Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and cinnamon; add rhubarb and stir until combined. Pour into pie shell. Top with:

1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
 Combine and sprinkle over rhubarb filling.
 Bake at 400 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes; cool for an hour before serving.

The sunshine beckons, and I must retreat. There’s a beautiful world waiting outside. Take a deep breath and thank God for it. That’s what I need to do, too. There’s not a gift He gave us to be taken for granted. 

Oh, and the local flora has at long last, exploded into bloom! Just stepping onto the front porch and taking a deep, long breath can fill one's head with visions of (well, not sugarplums) *sweet things* J

We finally got pictures for the album cover (when and if it happens to be completed, haha)  Thanks to our brothers for being willing photographers; even if Matthew was trying to drive us crazy the whole time. Sorry, brother dear; we all laughed about it afterwards, if I recall correctly.

 I guess the bottom pic proves that he accomplished his mission. (jk) Actually, we were just kinda havin' fun.:)


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

| these honeyed moments. |

God has poured so much milk and honey into my life that I hardly know where to begin scooping it up.

Just a few drops of it . . .

*the softened leather of well-worn cowboy boots

  *scribbling (ah, typing, oops) my daydreams into my laptop while the smell of rain floats through my bedroom window.

*going away for the weekend with awesome friends.

*playing a new song on my guitar

*the freckled noses, muddy boots, and infectious giggles of little boys. I hope my first baby is a little boy. I was thinking the other day—I think I'm going to jump in puddles with him. A few, anyway.
I’m virtually grown, yet each and every time I pass a puddle, the thing screams at me to dip my foot in it. 

Just to check how deep it is, ya know.Ten years ago, I would have dipped the whole of myself, not just the tip of my boot. Poor Mama.

*a brown-sugar coffee cake cappuccino. Keeping each sip miniature so that it will last longer.

*curling up with Growing Up Duggar on a raw afternoon.

*recording an album with friends.

*feeding a new baby calf with a bottle. Feeling the helpless youngster slap your knees with his fuzzy head and dribble warm milk into the hay. Realizing that he considers you his mama for the moment.

*my mama’s priceless hugs and boosting comments.

*the bracing smell of wood smoke.

*church potlucks

*seeing and hearing a baby laugh. And sleep. And lift her arms to be cuddled.
Beyond precious.

*feeling the love of my Savior on a day when I need it the most. Just the fact that He loves me when I fail Him so much is enough to make me want to fall at His feet. Truly, we love because He first loved us.

A portrait session with my sister a few weeks ago.

Um, not certain what thoughts sulked behind those eyes. Probably something akin to, “When is this gonna be done?”

 I love these guys!

What is putting a smile on your face today?


Saturday, April 5, 2014

| scribbles of sunshine. |


Ah, beautiful summer. Lemonade, campfires, county fairs, fresh veggies, fishing, picnics, soccer, fireworks, thunderstorms (just for you, Matthew) and hiking. The list drifts on… while winter clutches the mountains and meadows in a polar embrace and the wind claws at the creaking conifers outside . . . to use theatrical language. J
Okay. The weather was undeniably that dreadful back in January, and we held our breaths, crossed our fingers, and hoped for milder days come March 20th, or whatever calendar date it was that spring technically began. Now it’s April, and lo and behold, two and a half feet of snow still hide the ground and we haven’t spotted so much as a robin yet. Correction—when I scratched this down in the draft folder, we hadn’t seen a robin yet. This morning a plump and exuberant flock of North-returning robins visited our yard, apparently undisturbed by all the “white stuff” hiding all of the earthworms.But daffodils and pussy willows? Bare ground? I wish. Reckon that’s the north country for y’all. J
To pamper our cravings for sunscreen and flip flops, we tried to think of everything we love the most about our favorite season. I guess, given that we live in the far north, our favorite season should be winter, but hey, we can’t help what we can’t help.  Oh, that was hard. So many to choose from. We’ve all come down with a critically dangerous case of cabin fever this week, and naming off the delights we’re anticipating come June, July, and August, eases the symptoms of the disease.
Here’s what we came up with:

* Watermelon with salt. Shake your heads if you wish. Grandpa taught us to enjoy it this way.


* Bare feet. Ah, delicious the thought! Shoes (especially snow boots) are feeling more and more cumbersome these days, and the callouses on our feet are becoming dangerously soft, due to prolonged protection from rocks, sticks, and the like. 
* The smell of freshly cut hay. If you’ve never smelled it before, I recommend that you take a drive out to some nice dairy farm on an afternoon in June and take a deep breath. I promise that, unless you’re allergic to hay, you’ll be hooked for life.
P.S. If you happen to smell a little manure as well, it won’t kill you. 
* Volleyball. Although competition waxes brutally aggressive after three or four serves, we try to survive a game or two every night, despite ferocious mosquitos and neglected gardens.

 * Peaches. Oh. Paroxysms of ecstasy accompany the thought. There is nothing in the world that tastes quite like a fresh ripe peach—not too hard, not too soft, just . . . well, “just right”. Don’t you were you were biting into one right now?

* Playing hide-and-seek in the cornfield behind our house. Okay, I don’t do it as much as I did when I was younger, but it’s still fun to watch the littles do it. What kid wouldn’t love playing hide-and-seek in a twelve-acre field of seven-foot-tall corn? Especially at dusk?

P.S. The kiddos in our family are . . . a little different, shall we say. They still do outdated and boring stuff like that for fun instead of texting and playing Wii.

* Northwood lakes. That sentence deserves to be typed in caps. Hiking around them, canoeing in them, fishing in them, swimming in them until your fingertips resemble colorless raisins, and just sitting in front of them (wearing gallons of mosquito spray) admiring the reflection in the water.
And . . .  I could go on forever and waste hours of valuable time, but I will conclude the list at that and go find out if it has stopped snowing yet. . .
 In Christ,

Southern folks, if you happen to stumble upon these thoughts: Be thankful for warm temperatures and sunny skies. We fight a battle with covetousness when we think of them.
And, a word with my fellow Northerners: don’t lose hope, keep your chins up, and exercise patience. Good things come to those who wait. J


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

| my solid rock. |

"My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the power of Christ I stand."

 If achieving heaven and winning the Father's forgiveness rested within my surrender, my power, my convictions, or my good behavior, I would not have a chance or a prayer in the world of ever coming near His face.
 The beauty of truly belonging to Jesus is that we are not His because we deserve it or because we performed some holy or self-sacrificing act to win His acceptance. I am His because of Him and the ransom He paid for my soul. He wanted me and paid the price for my salvation before I ever gave Him a second thought.
"In Christ Alone" spells my testimony in three words. No commitment, surrender, or righteousness of mine has saved me; only His precious blood that He shed for my sake. All I can do in return is praise and glorify Him for His amazing mercy. I could never have earned merit with God, had I even tried.
All one need do is believe in Jesus' shed blood to be saved. Nothing else can ever redeem us; only His perfect gift of love, given to us freely if all we do is ask for it in faith.
"No power of earth or scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand." I am Christ's forever, eternally secure, because of Him alone. Praise His righteous name!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

| north country. |

The squirrel was spared, out of his mercy. Only air was shot at.

In spite of the unfriendly temperatures warning all inhabitants of the Northwoods to hunker down beside their wood stoves (and believe me, everyone around here has one) we found a few minutes a few weekends ago to squeeze in a hike in the farm fields out back. Of course, when you are hiking with boys, the Daisies must be toted along (just in case)
While we explored the frozen world a squall very typical for this season of the year blew in, making for some icy hiking conditions (and shooting conditions too) but lending a fresh fluffy look to all those gray bare maples and conifers.

There's something so raw and abandoned looking about a corn field in winter. So different from how it looks during July or August, but still very beautiful. 

"For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may bring seed to the sower, and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
         ~Isaiah 55:10-11


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

| review: the family daughter. |

If you know me, you know that I am always on the lookout for new books to devour. Inspirational
first, entertaining second, Christ honoring a must, and a combination of the three, ideal. J

Recently a friend lent me a book published by the King’ Blooming Rose ministries: The Family Daughter by Sarah L. Bryant, the editor of the King’s Blooming Rose magazine. I’d heard about their organization a lot through various sources, but I’d never read any of their materials, so I was happy for the chance to find out a little more about their mission and some of the philosophies they promote in their ministry.
The author of the book is Sarah Bryant, a stay-at-home home school graduate from a family of eight children. Another big family. J

Sarah introduces The Family Daughter by comparing a stay-at-home daughter who is finding contentment and purpose through serving her family to “polished cornerstones.” The phrase “polished cornerstones” comes from Psalm 144:12, and likens a virtuous daughter to a pillar supporting and strengthening those around her, in this case, her family.
The book offers practical advice for girls and young women who are single and living in their parents’ home, suggesting that they use their unmarried years (1) in cultivating their relationships with Jesus and finding their joy in Him rather than in pursuing their own dreams and agendas; (2) in seeking to be a blessing and delight to their parents, particularly their fathers; (3) in encouraging their siblings and investing in their lives, (4) in serving their families rather than themselves; (5) keeping themselves pure and unstained in anticipation of their future marriages; and (6) focusing on Christ first and foremost, rather than on their own desires.
I found Sarah Bryant’s style personable and humble; some authors tend to portray themselves as
“having it all together.” Honestly, who can read about someone who “who has it all together” and
think, “Same here; I know exactly what you mean?”
The author freely admits that she is learning along with her audience and maintains a humble and realistic approach throughout the entire book, which made reading it both enjoyable and easy to relate to.
She writes in the final chapter, Bouquet of Beauty, “May we each be able to give account someday when we meet our Lord Jesus, ‘I was a faithful daughter.’” Stated simply, her book is an explanation of what it means to be a “faithful daughter”, along with concrete counsel for playing out the role of Christ-honoring daughterhood in everyday life, particularly family and home life.
In an era where society demands its daughters to enter the career realm at graduation and pursue
professions within the work force, I found The Family Daughter to be like a breath of fresh air, particularly so because it is written by a young woman who is seeking to live the lifestyle it encourages. At the book’s conclusion, I said, “I was blessed.” It was definitely an encouragement.

     God Bless,