Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I ran across this article at Your Sacred Calling (I really need to add that link to my sidebar), and it deserves to be at least looked at by, oh, I don't know... everyone in America? Everyone everywhere?

Here are some quotes:
History shows that when a culture ceases to value children above all, when traditional marriage and family structure is seen as merely an option, that culture will cease to have enough offspring to sustain itself.

...these societies expire from lack of manpower, which itself is a manifestation of a lack of the will to live.

While we late moderns eat, drink and make merry, the Harvard scholar lamented, "very little public knowledge of the nearness, the inescapability or the seriousness of this impending crisis exists."

Along the same lines, there is a DVD called Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family. It's trailer is absolutely chilling.

If even half of this stuff is true, it's a serious issue. If all of it is, we're in big trouble...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Love Thy Neighbor?

This is a post I drafted before I knew I had offended anyone by the previous posts on the subject. I will reiterate here that my questions are directly dealing with bringing up children, NOT 'how to correct some person or the church in America.' I do not claim to be any shade of qualified to correct anyone -- outside my children, of course. While I realize I may just be "stepping in it" even worse, it is a worthy risk. I think this post has value and I hope it will bring glory to the Lord, even if it only gets one person thinking differently. I am leaving it as I first wrote it, unrefined, poor grammar and all.

The following is a story I made up (all by myself). It's purpose is to get us thinking about what really it means to love thy neighbor.

Jack walks into church on Sunday morning. He loves God, and loves his family. He's not perfect, of course, but he wants to glorify God and help others draw close to him. During the service, he takes the opportunity to share a bit of encouragement on the microphone, where all will hear. His encouragement is punctuated with liberal smatterings of "#@(*&!" and "^&*_@#!" and even "#$%&&^@!" Jack doesn't realize anything is amiss, because in his home and work these words are very common, normal even, and they're just part of expressing his true self. He doesn't mean anything bad by it and his heart really is in the right place.

What should happen here? What would happen? I imagine the pastor or an elder would take the microphone from him with a "We love you brother, but we can't let you say these things." Mothers would be covering their children's ears and fathers would be ushering their families from the sanctuary. Young people would be shocked, older people would shake their heads. Most would have less respect for Jack. At that point or later, the pastor and/or elders would sit down with Jack and explain what is and is not appropriate to be spoken during church, that Jack is responsible for his tongue no matter where he is, but the shepherds are responsible for what is spoken to the flock during such a gathering. Jack would probably be shocked that he had offended in such a way, and wonder why he had not been pointed to the scriptures about this in the past... Hopefully Jack would surrender his tongue to the Lord and turn away from speaking that way, especially in church.

Let's tell another one...

Jill walks into church on Sunday morning. She loves God, and loves her family. She's not perfect, of course, but she wants to glorify God and help others draw close to him. During worship, she enjoys adding her harmonious voice to the music up front, where all are turned. She is wearing a tight-fitting t-shirt under a translucent lace vest (or a dress, or a tank-top, or a mardis-gras costume)** and tight, low-cut jeans (skirt, if you prefer). Jill doesn't realize anything is amiss, because in her home and work and school these clothes are very common, normal even, and they're just part of expressing her true self. She doesn't mean anything bad by it and her heart really is in the right place.

What should happen here? What would happen? Would the pastor or an elder take a blanket to wrap around her with a "We love you sister, but we can't let you be seen like this." Would mothers be shielding their daughter's eyes, or fathers turning their faces and those of their sons away? Would the pastor and/or elders or older women of the faith sit down with her and explain what the Bible says about modesty? I'm sure Jill would probably be shocked that she had offended in such a way, and wonder why she had not been pointed to the scriptures about this in the past... Hopefully Jill would be a more careful steward and work to keep herself from being a stumbling block for her brothers in Christ.

Can you imagine that? I can't, really. I imagine Jill would conclude the worship service while everyone pretended that her choice of clothing was her business. Mothers might hope their daughters don't emulate her, and they might pray their sons aren't affected. Fathers would likely ignore it, because, after all, if they spoke up about the truth of it they'd only further the mindset that men are predatory, sex-crazed creatures that need to learn self-control. Pastors and elders probably wouldn't confront it because it would be "legalistic" -- and hit home for too many in attendance.

Why would these two problems be dealt with so differently? How would we deal with this without breaking the Lord's command to love our neighbor? Does love 'cover' a multitude of sins (and does 'cover' mean overlook or, perhaps, grab for the blanket?), or does it "work no ill to it's neighbor?" Rom. 13:10 ("ill" here defined as 1- of a bad nature (not such as it ought to be) 2- of a mode of thinking, feeling, acting (base, wrong, wicked) 3- morally troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful). Love edifies (1 Cor 8:1). Edifies is also translated as promotes growth in holiness. Do we promote growth in holiness when we ignore this problem (or pretend it isn't one)?

This subject has gone from "how do I explain 'differences in applied Christianity' to my daughter" to "how should Christians be dealing with modesty." Modesty* is a good subject for the conversation, but it's certainly not the only issue in my mind. There seem to be several parallel ones. Disobedient children, young people disrespecting adults, sloth, gossip, the list goes on. The church, and Christians in general, seem to have a pile of "do not touch" issues.. That or we just haven't read our bibles enough to know that they are issues.

My game plan so far:

  • Pray - for myself - to be wise, not condemning, nor satisfied with the status-quo; for my children - to learn love without taking on ungodly habits, and lastly for others - that they would embrace God fully and not be satisfied with a lukewarm lifestyle either.

  • Work to be an example of holiness (in speech, action, dress - including modesty).
  • Have an open heart to serve others, maybe even pointing them to search these issues out in Scripture.

*I encourage you to go here and peruse some results of Rebelution's Modesty Survey. It was a real eye-opener to me, precisely because this hasn't been specifically addressed in the church at large or anywhere else, that I'm aware.

** This WAS added after posting... I became concerned that while "Jill's" outfit was entirely made up (insert your fictional novel/movie disclaimer: "any similarities to any person living or dead..."), others might not realize it unless I said it outright. There, I said it. :)

Hey Look!

I won! I picked these... the "pink runners." Thank you so much!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Little Lights?

Stacy McDonald has a wonderful post about whether or not Christian parents are helping 'evangelize the lost' when their children attend public school. The post is well done, including references and links to support her point, as well as dozens of helpful resources to help parents make these decisions. What struck me even more was the comments on it; while some debate occurred, there was a surprising amount of 'testimonials' from both parents and children whose lives were in some way touched (for the worse) for the decision to send children to school. Whether it was parents losing their children's hearts, siblings whose relationships grew distant, or children who were drawn into much sin and heartache, it's enough to give a parent serious pause.

At the very least, we can not and should not abdicate the responsibility of raising our children. Whatever decisions we make need to be made thoughtfully and prayerfully. We don't get do-overs when it comes to raising the next generation!

A great discussion follows in the comments, including how and what kind of whole grain/sugar substitutes would be appropriate in baking.

Friday, February 22, 2008


This evening I was knitting on the couch, enjoying a few minutes of "family time." Big Sister had gathered a pile of books to read out to us, including one called, Sisters are for Making Sand Castles. She read the title, then exclaimed:
Sisters aren't for making sand castles! They're for helping each other and working together and praising God and obeying Mamas and Daddies. And for loving.
I really don't deserve such Blessings as these.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More To Win!

One of these days I'm sure I'll win one of these... won't I?

Our Blessed Arrows is having a giveaway for some baby-related stuff - item of your choice from her store! I think the shoes are darling...

While you're at it, check Homemaker's Journal to enter to win an encouraging CD!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


...and (hopefully not!) gone forever, Clementine. This has been getting a little crazy, actually. As a family, we have lost a lot of important things lately. Of course, my special purse-pen disappears occasionally, and as important as that is, it's not all. Add to this the complication that Hubby is still only working about 11 hours a week, and you see that replacing all of these lost items isn't completely reasonable right now.
  1. Hubby lost his glasses a few weeks ago. He remembers putting them somewhere soft while he removed his coat and neck-warmer-thingy. He remembers they fell behind something. We've searched behind everything soft and un-soft... So far no glasses.
  2. We lost our last cell-phone charger. That was a fun week. We actually bought another one before Gi-gi found ours hidden at her house.
  3. We can't find the car keys. Nine days ago we drove around with our last shmancy push-button keychain (I lost the first one a year or two ago). We haven't been able to find it since, and I'm hatin' - hatin'! - having to actually insert a key into a locked door or trunk whilst juggling 3 kids and a full grocery cart. I juggled kids and monkeyed with the locks before dragging said kids into the Toyota parts center to see if I could get a new one. He mentioned a $33 charge, cutting the key, having it 'programmed' at the service department (a 20 minute deal), and the fact that the service department was over-booked that day as it was. I still don't know if the $33 covers all of that or just the 'part.'
  4. My driver's license has disappeared. Really, disappeared. I sat down here at the computer to pay bills yesterday and noticed the cute little window where my face looks at me from the checkbook was utterly empty. I have a vague recollection of pulling it out weeks ago to let a cashier write on my check, and an even vaguer-recollection of replacing it...somewhere. So far my wallet, purse, and coat pockets come up empty. That's what I get for telling the DMV I lost my last one when I really just didn't want to hand it over at renewal time.
  5. My mind. Obviously. If I hadn't lost this, I might know where the above things have ended. They're probably all hanging out together, plotting something sinister. They have my driver's license, the car keys, hubby's glasses... I bet they're going somewhere, and they don't want me to be able to call for help on my cell phone!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tags Updated

Yay for tags! Those are the things listed under "labels," in case you're like me and didn't know that for a while. No, I didn't just write dozens more posts, I finally went thru the archives and gave everything at least one tag. I say "at least" because some are very funny kid things, so I use "kids" and "humor."

I know; I'm amazing.

I need to add a 'nutrition' tag, and not all pregnancy-related posts have that tag yet (a search for 'midwife' would work better), but it's a step in the right direction.

So, when my blogging gets lazy, enjoy reading up on 'the old days..."

Math Meets Reading

If I followed the directions and "read" each instruction to my daughter, I would've missed this:

In case you can't read the photo, the instructions read:

There are 10 boots inside the door.

Draw the boots.

Circle the pairs.

How many pairs of boots are there?

Those are the best boots I've ever seen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

To Dye For

This was really fun. If you've never done it, but wanted to, I encourage you to try. It's really quite easy. You need wool - or some other animal-protein-fiber, vinegar, water, food-coloring, and a way to heat it all. Oh, and the internet, of course. I used articles here and here, but any google search would give you plenty to work with. Basically, I first wrapped my skein of white Paton's Classic Wool around three stools, and tied it with a piece of yarn in 3 places. I wanted to see if I could make some purple, which I read is tricky, so I first used red on one part. I soaked it in my dye-acid (e.g. vinegar) mixture, then 'steamed' it on my stove. You can get wool hot, apparently; what you don't want to do is get it hot suddenly, nor cool it suddenly, or scramble it up while it's wet. The heat "sets" the dye, apparently. After letting it cool, I rinsed it gently then spooned different dye mixes onto the yarn, mixing and overlapping where I wanted. I didn't really have a plan, and didn't really like how it was looking. I should also mention that this was an amazing project for the girls to practice some color-mixing while learning about primary and secondary colors. This picture is before I went over it again, with some leftover colors. After steaming it again, cooling, and rinsing, I spun it out in my washing machine (JUST spin cycle - no rinsing or water) and hung it to drip-dry over my kitchen sink for a day. The colors lighten up a bit as it dries, and I was left with a delightful spring-time colorway! Then I sat down and started making a diaper cover, of course!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Woman With It All

Anna is a young Jewish woman in Israel whose blog, Domestic Felicity focuses on womanhood, hearth, and home. This post is a must-read for any woman (mothers, especially) thinking they are "missing out" by not being in the workplace, earning a paycheck, or pursuing a career.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Homemaking Giveaway!

But hurry! it ends at midnight!

Homemaker's Journal is giving away a big pile of excellent resources, including some I've recommended on my sidebars. Go here to enter, and good luck!

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Lesson

I thought about titling this post "Sitemeter Is A Big Fat Liar" but that might not be entirely true, because it might be individual servers that are the liars. I have made a grave, grave mistake (actually many, but I want to keep this short, so I'll focus on one). In my general perusing of my site stats, I assumed that I had very few readers who actually knew me. There were some I could pinpoint as individuals, but I mistakenly assumed that because I didn't know anyone in various little near and far towns, that the readers whose servers were there, were strangers to me. My mistake then was using little bits, examples, and observations to build up a question or idea I was posting about -- which, when familiar people read about, made it look clearly like I had deep judgments about specific people, places, and events. I then let a general issue veer into a specific example (modesty), which in my mind served as a place for detailed discussion of the larger topic (loving others without giving the impression to my children that I approved of all things related to those others), but was again taken as specific judgments against others.

Anon, I thought I knew who you were last night, but now I think you are someone else. I am not going to publish the 3 or 4 most previous comments because I don't think they'd be edifying to my general readership (which some, at least, are not local parties). That said, without publishing them I am unable to see which parts of the 'old letter' are in italics. If it is important to you that I know which parts you wrote previously and which are new thoughts, please email them to me. I would be grateful for the chance to 'fill in the blanks' - that is, explain in detail the stupid examples I have given in the other posts, because there are areas where you seemed to have assumed incorrectly. I would also be grateful to know who you are, exactly.

I'm sure I'm not the first blogger to learn this lesson! I am not even sure what the bottom line should be. I have felt free to share deep concerns of my heart, mistakenly assuming the anonymity would protect myself and others, but that has proven folly. To whomever reads this: I do not wish to judge anyone!!! I am muddling through trying to parent my children, by God's grace, to the best I am able, and there is so much I just don't know. My "judgments" here were only meant to illustrate the questions in my heart. Not point to any person and claim betterment over them. Forgive me if I walked this line badly.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

All Knit Up

I've mentioned my "new hobby" a time or two. I must say that it has slowed down some of my sewing projects. But I can't crawl in bed at night and spend a few minutes sewing. Nor can I sew in front of the pellet stove. I also can't accomplish much sewing while waiting for the toaster to pop or the oatmeal water to boil. Knitting, once so strange, complicated, time-consuming, and foreign, has become a fascinating and satisfying expression of creativity and detail. Now, I'm still COMPLETELY novice at this stuff. I can knit, purl, cast on, bind off, and with my printed-instructions I can do short rows, pick up stitches (is it cheating if you use a crochet hook?) and maybe increase and decrease. And I *think* I can "yarn over." It seems to be working, anyway.

What do I manage to accomplish with all these skills? Wool britches, of course. They're the old-school version of diaper covers (ok, maybe new-school too; I told you I don't know much). Wool and lanolin make for a unique combination for cloth diapering. Apparently it can 'hold' moisture without wicking it through other fabrics, the lanolin reacts with the urine to neutralize it (no smell), and they only need washed occasionally (unless they get poopy). I have learned a lot about wool soakers in general, and knitting them at Yahoo's Wool Soaker Group. So far I've made two wool "soakers" (the no-legs kind) and two "longies" (long-legged, like pants). I'm working on another soaker, and ran out of yarn for another I'm working on. I'm too cheap (so far) to pay for a pattern when there are some great ones online for free. The first I made (the dark brown soaker) is the Curly Purly soaker. I then made a cute pair of Aubrey Doodlepants in the same brown with a white waistband and rolled cuffs (no picture yet!). I made another set, trying my hand at widening the crotch gusset and making the legs a bit 'flared' with this great Lion Brand yarn in Autumn Sunset. The colors made for some 'fun' with the knitting, and turned out some great stripes and lines. I then tried the Punk Knitter's Soaker (the orange-ish one with blue) because I liked the whole hole thing for the drawstring. FYI: that cute drawstring (i-cord) takes a lot longer than you'd think to knit... This pattern also gave me a chance to learn to decrease. The in-progress soaker is another of these. The one I ran out of wool on is this modified 1932 Soaker. I'm thinking it will be great, because all that ribbing makes for plenty of wool/lanolin in the crotch area. However, all that ribbing also makes for slow going for me, and I don't know if I'll do another one.

Things I don't know yet: I've heard that wool loses it's magic under the wrong conditions. Namely, compression. It will wick a bit if something is pressing hard against it, therefore you don't want to snap a onesie over a soaker, nor strap your babe in a carseat for long. I don't know what other wardrobe complications it might present. It's too chilly for bare legs; can I put regular pants over a soaker? Should I learn to knit leg-warmers?

Here are some resources I've found really helpful: This is a page full of links to tons of patterns, free and otherwise, knit or crochet, soaker or longies. Knitting Help has videos for so many things. It's so great to come across an instruction I don't understand and be able to actually see it done by someone. They have everything from the basic knit, purl, cast-on, to other, more complicated things that I don't even understand yet. They also have a few free patterns. Same Knit, Different Day has a great short-row tutorial for doing short-rows in the round (short rows are handy for making a bit more room in the buns to cover the cloth diaper). Techknitting has some more advanced information, but everything seems to have great illustrations and clear, concise instructions. I especially like her method of joining circular knitting. It has helped the edge of my soaker-in-progress look much nicer. There is obviously a million techniques I don't know, and that's fine. For once I don't have that need to conquer everything about a subject.

What works for me: I have broken out a binder and some sheet covers... My old lady knitting bag was getting a bit messy with all these print-outs of patterns and techniques. I copy and paste the pictures and instructions from a website into MS Word, resize the pictures, widen the margins on the page, take out extraneous info, and get the whole thing into a page or two, usually. With some birthday money I purchased a set of Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles. I really really love them. I can knit flat (imagine your grannies straight skewer-style needles, where she knit back and forth and made a flat piece), knit round (imagine the handful of smaller needles that hold the work like a triangle and ultimately make a tube - like a sock or soaker), knit small-circumference round things and large, use different sized needles on either side of the cord (makes me go a bit faster), and hold unfinished work on a cord without losing my needles to the project. If I were to ever travel on an airline again, I could take them handily in their case, and make it through security without them being confiscated or detained. Now, they're not the only interchangeable needles out there, but they're a bit cheaper than some others, I could find them locally to 'try out', and they're the ones I got.I'll post later about another yarn-project... First though, maybe some baby socks?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Christian Liberty, Revisited

A few posts ago I asked how we, as Christians, should train our children to love others without approving of their choices/habits/activities - especially when they are embraced by other Christians. I wrote the post quickly, messily, and with half my brain otherwise occupied, but the comments brought up some interesting points. In one, Andi points out,
Perhaps (probably?) there are bigger heart issues God is more concerned about dealing with in them than (insert activity here).
First, I completely agree. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). However, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Stacy MacDonald, in a brief interview in The Monstrous Regiment of Women, points out that as Christians, we bespeak the nature of God. She says that if we wear maternity clothes, we shouldn't be surprised if people think we're pregnant. If we wear the uniform of a police officer, we shouldn't be surprised if people think we're in law enforcement. It follows that if we dress immodestly, we shouldn't be surprised if people think we're loose. Taking that one step further, if we dress as though we are loose when we're not, we are lying about the nature of God. This is not an exact quote, and I wish I had the time to put the DVD on and type it out word for word. In the same way we would be careful about 'tricking' someone into thinking we're in law enforcement (doesn't that get jail time?), we should take care not to run around lying about the nature of God. Whether we're "electing" pastors who cannot manage their own household (1 Tim. 3:4), or dressing in a way to "cause my brother to stumble (1 Cor. 8:13)." Now, men are also admonished to treat "younger women as sisters, with absolute purity(1 Tim. 5:2)," but we should be communicating purity from our heart through our dress and actions. I don't mean for this post to be so narrow in focus, because this dilemma reaches much farther than modesty*, but teaching that is one monumental task in this world today, and it serves as a useful example.

Andi further states,
I'm not so sure I agree that "it's not our job to tell them" -- if you genuinely think the problem is that they don't know, isn't that exactly what Jesus would have you do? Of course, you'll need to do so lovingly, humbly, gently, non-judgmentally, in a "I want to look out for you and help you however I can" sort of way. Just because it isn't politically correct to be in somebody else's business doesn't mean it isn't biblical (given the right kind of relationship and heart attitude).
This would really be something. "I don't mean to offend, but I'm really afraid your wardrobe is mocking God..." Speaking of modest dress, I was blown away by reading about what young men in particular deem modest and deem... a stumbling block. Take a look yourself. Now, back to the logistics of this, it's not like it's one dear friend that I could sit with privately and mention my concerns. Maybe that's what she refers to by "the right kind of relationship." Granted, I don't get out much, but I see more cleavage at church than anywhere else. I see more skin-tight, see-through, low-cut garb during worship than I see in WalMart's junior section. Having had a glimpse of what (little) it takes to make it difficult for men to 'treat younger women as sisters, with all purity,' I am aghast the sensual barrage my almost-14-year-old nephew is presented with when he walks through the doors of the church! I assume it's hard enough for him to guard his heart against what the world has to offer; must the worship team and other Christians** add to the struggle? Or, in regards to my original question, does my silence towards these uninformed girls/women and participation in church or other events constitute tacit endorsement? If not, will my six-year-old still see it as such?

*Modesty to me is not limited to clothing, but encompasses action, thought, words.. heart. Modesty is purposely not drawing attention to oneself (flaunting), including attention from the opposite sex.

**I am not talking solely about "new" Christians, or until-recently-unchurched youth, though they don't help either. I'm referring to women of the faith that should know better, girls with parents that should know better, even women "of position" in the church.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Cozied Up

The wind howled long and loud last night. For once I wasn't chilled and tossed in my very soul. Maybe it's because we have shingles that stay on now. In fact, hearing the wind (and having to close the bathroom door because the fan let a breeze in from the attic) brought about a deep gratitude. I am so grateful for heat in our home. Even if neither the pellet stove nor propane furnace have any avenue into the bathrooms. We will not run out of pellets this year, I hope. We have food in the pantry and in the freezers. Sometimes it seems like we don't have "anything to eat," but that is falsehood. We're just picky. We have electricity, and long johns, DSL and seed catalogs and yarn to help us through these days. We are cozied up. Hubby is cozied up too. For the first time in our married life, he is here with us each day. Work has cut him (and the other service guys) down to 2 days per week, and we are going through the intrigues of 'unemployment insurance.' The experience has been a new one, for sure, and we're trying to transition into using this temporary lull for good. In any case, God is good, and his provision is sufficient.

For the second time since living in this house (the first was our first winter, four years ago - and was the first weekend that February), the wind and snow have served up a beautiful but challenging landscape. The 600 feet or so of driveway nearest the house is bordered along the west side by a fence. The other side of that fence has tall grass and weeds, and then a second fence, running parallel about 10-15 feet away. West of that fence is... an empty field. This makes a unique problem. The wind blows from the west. Blows a lot. The wind picks up the powder, blows it towards our driveway, and in the lee of the tall weeds and fences, drops the snow. The driveway becomes a miniature, frozen dune-scape. A few feet to the east side of the driveway, the snow is ankle-deep... but also dotted with things like vehicle carcasses and the neighbor's well. So the only impassable land is the only avenue out...

Here I'm looking south, from near the house:

The driveway is to the left of the fenceline, and the right of the post and stump...

Looking north up the driveway. Drifts cover the fence in the left foreground:

So yeah, we're staying put awhile...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I'll be writing more later on the whole "liberty" idea.

A year and some ago, when I started this blog, it was mostly about my 'farming' endeavors. I have enjoyed some setbacks and surprises, and decided I should type them here while I can still remember them. Maybe include some future plans...

A year ago we had our two pigs and 30 or so chickens, I broke the bank purchasing seed from catalogs and making crazy plans for a garden (crazy because I was going to be giving birth right around harvest time, but continued with the plans anyway).

Our pigs didn't manage to behave well enough to help the field in ways I've read they could.

Our boar had some 'manhood issues' that prevented us from using him for breeding (or selling him as such) and we ate him.

Our gilt was eventually eaten as well.

We raised some cornish-cross broilers who were suicidal, so fewer made it to the freezer.

Our flock of egg-producers was decimated by some dogs. We have yet to determine whose they were.

The tomatoes wouldn't ripen, and all the carrots I planted were prohibited by Hubby's diet. They're still in the garden. Hubby's diet also prevented him from enjoying much of Zeke or Trudy, and since it's illegal to sell or give non-usda-processed pork to others (by the cut), feel free to sneak in, raid our freezer, and pin a few bucks to the door. That freezer costs a lot to run.

Things to do differently this year:

Order started pullets to replace the egg-layers by May.
Change up garden completely; fence dog into a pen or fence garden away from dog.
Offer the field to an organic or semi-natural farmer to rent for cheap.
Establish wind-safe area in garden for started plants.

Anything else? I'm sure, but the baby's needing her Mama...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Christian Liberty or Lukewarm Christianity?

I find myself continuing to be annoyed at so-called "Christian liberty." Does anyone else have this problem? If you do, what is the answer?

I am trying to bring my girls up to be lovely virtuous ladies. I really am. The trouble comes when "loving our neighbor" runs into "love not the world." Kids are very black-and-white. They understand worldliness in someone who doesn't know Jesus, or who has rejected Him, but it is confusing for them to see the same worldliness in someone who goes to church and claims to be a Christian. How do I deal with that?

For instance, a week or so ago we were at a gathering... At one point there were several young women (married and not, most attend church) behaving in a manner that directly contradicted things I've told my daughter about honoring God with our behaviour and speech. I was unable to keep her from witnessing this. When we were able to leave, my daughter approached me with a very concerned expression to say, "Mama, a lot of girls and ladies were [insert activity of concern here]." I believe she was worried that they didn't know they might be dishonoring God in their actions. I responded that our job was not to tell them they were wrong, but that we could pray for them. And we must be careful to guard and keep our own hearts in Christ. I hope this communicated that we shouldn't condemn others for having standards different from our own, and that we still must maintain the standards God has established for us. And to guard our hearts from temptation as well as judgment.

I suppose this is the eternal parenting question... How do we embrace others without embracing their choices? It is too easy to lump the two together. "Immodest dress = no friend of mine!" Yet that is exactly what Christ doesn't want us to do.

How should we deal with this situation?