Wednesday, March 18, 2015

In Pursuit of Beauty

 

All families have talents, the gifts God has given to them to use for His glory, and for us to appreciate.  Some families are athletic, some are musical, some are artistic, and some are a wonderful combination of many different talents and skills.

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In our family, the arts definitely edge out any ability for athleticism.  We do not run fast or throw well.  When we pitch a Frisbee, it usually zings crazily off to the side, spending more time rolling away on its edge rather than spinning gracefully and smoothly through the air.  

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Once when he was two, Luke swung a bat with perfect aim – hitting me squarely in the nose. 

At least it was a little red plastic bat.

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But when it comes to drawing, our girls have sweet gifts.   Which certainly don’t come from me, but instead run strong and true through their daddy.

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They absolutely love drawing, and I honestly can’t remember a day when one, or all of them, haven’t spent some time drawing, whether it was hours, or just minutes. 

They produce beautiful art in vast quantities – far more than I can keep and store. 

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Sometimes we give it away. 

Sometimes we simply admire it for a little while.

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And beauty is found in other artistic talents as well… like music.

In some families, music is a special way of expressing joy, togetherness, love.  Of praising God with their voices or with instruments, like piano or guitar.

We love singing, and harmonizing has long been a tradition, literally for generations, through my side of the family.

We don’t just sing Happy Birthday in unison!  Nope!  We must harmonize it! 

 

There is the beauty and elegance of dance!

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We are particularly fond of ballet.  But there are many, many different types of dancing in which people excel at demonstrating beauty.

 

 

And then there is the beauty of poetry.

Several years ago the children and I began memorizing poems as part of our school day.  I think to date we have memorized 55 poems!  Short ones and long ones.  Funny ones and sad ones.

I love the musicality of them.  The rhythm, the cadence.  I love the way the words are edible!  We wrap our mouths around them and savor their delicate consonants and vowels.

 

And some of them are achingly beautiful..

like this one..

The Destruction of Sennacherib by Lord Byron

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord.

 

See what I mean?! 

Beautiful!!

 

What are the talents of beauty, the lovely gifts your family has been given? 

Do you see them?

Are you using them?

 

Use them to worship the One Who has given them to you!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Love Notes!

 

I don’t know if you know, but Olivia was our sweet surprise!  We weren’t supposed to have any more children.  But God gave her to us anyway.  We adore all our children – and there were lots of tears shed and prayers prayed for each of them before they were given to us.  But that little cutie came without prayers and tears beforehand – God just gave her to us for free!

 

Olivia and Mommy58

 

Often on the Lord’s Day, if it is just our family here, we read together, or nap, or talk.  Sometimes, the little girls like to pull out my iPad and type notes to me in the Notes section.  Sometimes I don’t even see them for a while!

But I thought you might enjoy this little tidbit.  Love notes between Olivia and me, one quiet Sunday afternoon. 

Enjoy!

 

Dear mother you are very kind to me every morning since I was a tiny baby, now I shall give you something in return.  Would you like a back scratch or a foot massage? Or would you even like a..... Cookie? I would like a cookie. that would taste so good, don't you think? I mean I can't wait till grandma and grandpa both get here, I will be as polite as I can.hey did you see that? I just made a AS sandwich around the polite! That is just..... So funny!!!!

With all of my heart,

Olivia c. Orr

 

My dearest darling girl!

For me nothing is sweeter than to be with you.  Sitting here feeling your little snuggly warm self next to me, and hearing the soft rising and falling of your breathing makes me very happy indeed.  I feel as though there could not be anything more lovely this minute than having you as my wee little girl!  I love you very much!

Your loving mother,

With all her heart!   

Oh my mother you are sweet inside.when I feel your breath on me I know that  yours is truly more beautiful than mine, when I hear your voice it is like a beautiful song in my heart, a very very pretty song. And when daddy snuggles you, I feel wonderful seeing the both of you together, you and daddy will always be better than I am in Christianity. And I will always hold your image in my heart.

Sweet and lovely daughter,  your words are just like honey to me!  They taste sweet and golden in my mouth and they make a cozy puddle in my soul.  When I hold them up before my eyes, I see the delicate strands and tendrils of your love for me and they make beautiful music in my heart.  I love you, little Olivia!

 

And then later in the same day..

 

Mommy,

      how much times have People  forgotten your name? I'd really like to know, it makes me want to punch anyone who did. People like that are very mean, i don't like them very much. But I really can't wait to eat the popcorn that you are going to make. I can already smell it. Don't you think popcorn tastes and smells so good. I think so.... When are you going to make popcorn? I forgot.

I really don't know how many times people have forgotten my name.  I think it might be a good thing.  You're awfully young and pretty to be punching people.  Let's not, OK?  :)

I will make popcorn when Daddy finishes the chapter.  Yes I do think it tastes and smells good.  Very good.  Very, very good.  And hot. I like it.  I'm glad you do, too.

Mom,

    ...what do you mean by "let's not, ok?"I literally have no idea what you mean. It makes no since. I really hope that you had a very nice sleep. I hope that I didn't annoy you during it. Mommy you are the most beautiful woman in the world, and you are very nice the way you are. I love seeing your face every morning, it is so beautiful. I will love you as long as I live, so that means I will always love you.

 

I pray for you today, that you will share love notes with your children, and your husband.

For they are sweet, precious gifts to you – given by a Loving Father Who loves you even more!!  And He shares His own Love Notes with you, too.

Go, my friend!  Read them today!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How Much We Should Love Him

 

"Mommy, will you sit on my bed while I read my Bible?  Please?!"


This is almost a nightly request from Isabella.  She loves it when I sit there, while she reads her Bible to me.


Some nights, I'm just too tired.  Or I think I am. 

And I tell her, “Oh, not tonight, Baby.  Can we try tomorrow night?” 

But often I plop myself down next to her and listen.


Last night was one of those nights.


And as I lay there halfway dozing, listening to her read from Matthew, she suddenly stops. 

Lays her Book facedown on her chest and says,

 

"Ooh!  I am just getting so mad!"

 

She made an angry face. Sweet little lips pursed and her eyebrows furrowed.


Me:   “Why?  Mad about what?”


Isabella:     “How could they treat Jesus that way?!   How could they hurt him?”

Me:     “Because they didn't love Him like you do.”


Isabella:     “But didn't they know He was God’s Son?!”


Me:     “They didn't believe Him.”

My sweet Isabella, eyes tearing up and her sweet lips trembling.  Looking at me with sadness.   Like she might cry.

And after a few quiet seconds..


Isabella:    “I'm sorry!”


Me:     “Why!?”


Isabella:    “For crying.”


Me:     “Baby, don't be sorry!  Those tears are good tears. The best kind of tears.  The kind that make God happy.  Those tears are for Jesus.  Because you love Him.”


And now, she smiled very happily at me.  Eyes shiny and wet. 

She sat up suddenly and leaned forward – and hugged me hard, pressing her soft cheek against mine.

Glad.

 


I think…. that is how much we all should love Jesus