Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

To My Mother

I love you Mother for your quiet grace,
For that dear smile upon your kindly face,
For marks of toil upon each loving hand,
That worked for me ere I could understand;
For all time's touches on your hair and brow,
For never were you quite so dear as now:
I will be loyal, faithful, loving, true,
For, Mother dear, I owe so much to you.
Clara Simpson

Today is the birth-day of a most special woman; my mom. My mother has devoted her life to her family. She has been the faithful wife of a faithful man. From these two have come 5 living children and 14 grandchildren.

If you were to ask her where her passion for being at home was learned, she will tell you that her mother, who was a single mom, often remarked that all she wanted to be was a wife and mother and be at home. Having this instilled in her from a young age and understanding that to be her scriptural role, she gave her whole heart to it.

My mom believes with all her heart, as Spurgeon stated, "Home is the grandest of all institutions." Because of this, as children, we had a home that was filled with a mother's sacrificial love. My mom is not only a devoted mother, but mother-in-law and grandmother. Because of her faithfulness to the Lord, she has been and continues to be one of God's most constant and effectual means of leading her children and grandchildren to the Lord.

Proverbs 14:1 says, "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." My mom is a wise woman. She is a virtuous woman. She has looked well to the ways of her household and has not eaten the bread of idleness. Her husband safely trusts her that he will have no need of spoil and that she will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She has used wisdom by her words, in her purchases, in her caring for the needy, and the opening up of her home to those that the Lord brought in her path. Because of this, I arise and call her blessed!(Prov. 31)
My mom never thought that "the increase of culture, money and refinement was to decrease homespun frugality, domestic purity, and the fear of God". (Theodore Kuyler)

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was an American poet who lived from 1850-1919. In her poem, The Need of the Hour, she asks, "What does our country need?" The answer? "Women, strong of soul, yet lowly, women whose lives are pure and clean and holy, whom all little children bless; Brave earnest women, helpful to each other, with finest scorn for all things low and mean; Women who hold the names of wife and mother far nobler than the title of a queen. Women who, worn and weary, ask no greater glory than making some young soul the home of truth; who sow in hearts all fallow for the sowing the seeds of virtue and of scorn for sin, and, patient, watch the beauteous harvest growing and weed out tares which crafty hands cast in." Ella Wheeler believed that "these are our country's pride, our country's need" and I heartily concur! It was/is my mother's desire to be at home to instruct, love and care for her children and husband in the Lord. She knows that it is her God-given role and she unapologetically fills that role with joy and thanksgiving.

My mom loves singing. I remember her singing as she went about her work in the home. They weren't the songs of the world. Not that all 'worldly' songs are sinful, but her thoughts were directed towards the Lord. They were songs of praise, of requests and of humility before the Lord. I can see her now at her kitchen sink, head raised slightly as unto the Lord, and her mouth filled with song. One of my favorite songs is one that was sung by the mother in the musical Fiddler on the Roof. My mom used to sing it to my sisters and I when we were young. It is called the Sabbath Prayer.

My mom's passion is to fulfill Phil. 4:8 by thinking on whatsoever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. If there is any virtue or praise in something she thinks on it and encourages her loved ones to do similarly.
My mom truly is a woman whose price is far above rubies. In this I rejoice and thank the Lord because I have a godly model set before me. Not just any model. A model who loves my very soul and the souls of my family.

The following poem exemplifies the godly, faithful mother and it is to mine, that I dedicate it.

Two Temples

A builder builded a temple,
He wrought it with grace and skill;
Pillars and groins and arches
All fashioned to work his will.
Men said, as they saw its beauty,
"It shall never know decay;
Great is thy skill, O builder!
Thy fame shall endure for aye."
A mother builded a temple
With loving and infinite care,
Planning each arch with patience,
Laying each stone with prayer.
None praised her unceasing efforts,
None knew of her wondrous plan,
For the temple the mother builded
Was unseen by the eyes of man.
Gone is the builder's temple,
Crumpled into the dust;
Low lies each stately pillar,
Food for consuming rust,
But the temple the mother builded
Will last while ages roll,
For that beautiful unseen temple
Was a child's immortal soul.

Hattie Vose Hall
Thank you for everything, Mom! I love you forever and always!

For those of you who don't know...

this is a long post.

Oh, and we moved. Yep, we traded our countryside home in Unadilla for main street living in Oneonta (coping...barely; more whining to come ;) ). This is a picture of my chiropractor's office and right above his office, on the second level where you see the railings, is our apartment. I will be posting more pics of it soon. (soonish?) about 2 months we'll be moving again though this next move will be a little farther; we'll be moving out of state. Come the end of November it's on to Lewiston, Idaho. I think it would be a safe assumption that if someone has moved 18 times in 15 years folks would likely think one of two things; either they're military or they actually enjoy moving. I wouldn't say I despise moving, but I definately wouldn't go so far as to add it to a list of my favorite pasttimes. :)

Being raised in southern California built into me certain prejudices against every other state in our country. ;) Over the years, the Lord has worked on humbling my silly pride (in many areas...ouch!) by showing me the beauty that he has given each state (and province) we've lived in. I am thankful to have not only 'seen', but experienced living in each of these places.

I never thought I'd survive in climate below 30*F. North Dakota winters proved that theory wrong. The first time I visited ND, I went from a balmy 70* in southern CA to 50 below. Just a mite chilly. The Lord gives grace for every situation though it didn't necessarily come in the abundance I thought I needed. I didn't think a little 'global warming' right over the state of ND was asking too much. ;) All the more need to look to Christ which, I believe, was/is His intention. He was teaching me to "Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."(James 1:4) While conviction is painful and challenging, it is a blessing to know that the Lord does not leave us to our sinful selfish selves. Praise the Lord for that!

Our reasons for moving are two-fold. While New York may have some of the most beautiful scenery around, there is far too much negative legislation. The state wants its hands in the home, the pocketbook (I just said pocketbook! I mean wallet.) and more. Besides this, most of my family is either relocating to this area (for similar reasons) or has relocated already. We have gone from a household of 14 to 5 as our family members have moved on and we moved out of our home last month. So while another move is an unpleasant task in and of itself, we are looking forward to reuniting with our family. Our move will also put us within a day's drive (a long one though it may be) of both my sister and her family in Canada and my inlaws in North Dakota.

Family is very important to us because it is important to God. It is His first 'institution' of learning, leading and instructing. Out of the family comes our society. What folks believe and how they choose to raise their children is what we will see in the future since our children are the future. Family is what Theodore Kuyler calls the "fountain-head of society". He states that, "Both the commonwealth and the church grow out of the family. They both take their character from the family. The real seed-corn whence our republic sprang was the Christian households, which stepped forth from the cabin of the Mayflower, or which set up the family altar of the Hollander and the Huguenot on Manhattan Island or in the sunny South. All our best characters, best legislation, best institutions...were cradled in those early homes. The home rules the nation. If the home is demoralized it will ruin it."(emphasis added). And something our country and it's leaders need to hear and understand is that "No statesmanship or legislation can save us, if once our homes become the abodes of ignorance or the nestling-places of profligacy."(T.K) Our country cannot save us. Not it's economic bailouts, it's schools, afterschool programs, etc. Our only hope and saving can come from the Lord Jesus Christ and His Spirit working in and through our lives as a family. Not until the Lord of the universe is Lord of the homes within our country will we see the change that needs to be made.

We see this move as clear leading from the Lord. Much prayer and asking the Lord's will led us to seek this move. If He didn't want us to move He wouldn't have sold our house. Not only did we battle finding a buyer in a tough economic market, but finding one who wanted to live in the 'country'. This was the third year we had the house on the market. Most folks wanted more privacy and wilderness (we would have too! ;) ) or they wanted to live closer to Oneonta which is where the main business happens around here. The Lord not only provided the right seller (and the only one who made an offer!), he provided a job for Larry that helped to cover a good amount of what we lost on the house. This job is also an answer to prayer as it will reduce the hours Larry has to work. This is something that our family looks forward to.

So, all of that to say, we're outta here in a while so look out Idaho, here we come!