Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday's Quote: Benevolence and our Spouses

If I were to ask you why you love your husband, what would you say?  Gary Thomas tackles this question in his book A Lifelong Love:  What if Marriage is about More Than Just Staying Together?, and here's what he says:
If you love your spouse because she is kind, you love kindness, not your spouse.  If you love your spouse because he is thoughtful, you love thoughtfulness, not your spouse.  True love is found in absolute benevolence, which is a state of the heart that is bent toward loving someone's highest good, regardless of the person's actions or character.  It is a disposition to do what is best for the other, out of the inner compulsion from the Holy Spirit, to serve this person's best interests.... 
You'll remember the verse that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8).  He didn't love us because we were obedient or kind or thoughtful; He loved us with an absolute benevolence that will sound like a tautology:  He loved us because He loves us.  There is no explanation for this love.... 
As married people, we are invited to adopt an attitude of absolute benevolence toward our spouses--always wanting what is best for them....  Love is always set on the beloved's welfare--so all our actions should be motivated for their good.  All our actions.  Every one.  (p.255-257)
Reading this changed my thoughts on how and why I should love John.  I need to love him because I love him, not for what he does or doesn't do.  And it's intimidating to think that every single thing that I do should be motivated by doing him good.  Wow!  That's a high standard.  I know that I can only come close by God's grace, and I certainly won't be able to achieve it this side of Heaven.

So, why do you love your husband?  :)  After reading this, are you rethinking that like I am?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thankful Thursday: A Nice, Quiet Week at Home

Pony rides at the party. 

As the title of this post says, we've had a nice, quiet week at home.  As I was planning my week, I realized that we had nothing outside the house to do this week.  It was great!  (Of course, I don't want every week to be this quiet, but it sure was nice for a change.)

The cannon was loud!  We were glad for ear protection.

Here are a few other things for which I'm thankful:
  • one of our local homeschool groups put together something on Texas Military History, and we had a great time learning about weapons used during the War Between the States (aka the War of Northern Aggression)
  • the company for which John works threw a wonderful party on Saturday.  Since it was geared toward children, our kids had a fabulous time!
  • nice weather that isn't too hot...yet
  • the mosquitoes that were bad last week have gone away for the time being
  • my immune system which is working a little too hard these days; my allergies are acting up
For what are you thankful this week?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thankful Thursday: A New Ceiling Fan

Saturday, John replaced the ceiling fan in our living room.  As you can see, the ceiling in our living room is about twenty feet tall, and John chose to build a scaffold instead of using a ladder.  The old fan didn't work properly; it was either off or on high speed.  And it was noisy.  We'd been putting off getting a new fan because of the logistics of a high ceiling, but we figured this was as good a time as any, especially with summer just around the corner.

This week, I'm thankful for:
  • God's provision in keeping John safe as he wrestled with the scaffold which was actually much harder (it seemed to me) than replacing the fan
  • a new fan that works!
  • cooler weather, not that it's been hot yet
  • fresh baked chocolate chip cookies
  • a fun time last Thursday with friends at the museum
  • bright, sunny days after so many cloudy ones
  • a quiet week at home
  • leftovers for supper!
For what are you thankful this week?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April Review of Goals

I feel like I did fairly well this month with my goals.  We haven't been too busy which has really helped!  We've been enjoying the nice weather quite a bit, too.

Personal Goals:
  • Read through my book list.  I didn't read a single book off my list!  Oh, no!
  • Walk on the treadmill three times a week for twenty minutes.  I may have taken one day off, but other than that, I accomplished this goal!
  • Write one letter or note a month.  Success!
Goals as a Mother:
  • Do something (like a playdate) with someone (and her children) once a month, whether it's having someone over for lunch, going to someone else's house, or heading out for a field trip together.  We visited the Houston Museum of Natural Science with friends.
  • Have one fun day in school a month.  You know, this goal just hasn't been a priority this year.
  • Take my children on one field trip a month.  See above.
  • Teach my children to do more around the house.  I'm still working on this one.
  • Read a book about motherhood.  I haven't gotten to this yet.
  • Read a chapter book with my children.  We working our way through Swiss Family Robinson, and it's a much longer book than I realized.
Goals as a Wife:
  • Schedule monthly date nights for John and me.   We were supposed to go out with friends one night, but John wasn't feeling well.
  • Read a book about being a godly wife.  I'm doing that right now, although it's not the one from my list.
Goals as a Family:
  • Continue having another family over for supper once a month.  Oops!
  • Continue our family devotional time.  Fail.
How are you doing with your yearly goals?

Monday, April 27, 2015

April Reading

This month's reading has more of the same in it along with some new things.  But really, when you're reading a good series, why shouldn't you read more of it?  ;)
  • Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon.  In the beginning of the second series of Father Tim novels, Father Tim is called back to Holly Springs, Ms., where he grew up.  While there he encounters several old friends and makes many new ones.
  • A Red Herring without Mustard by Alan Bradley.  I forgot how much I enjoyed the first two Flavia de Luce novels!  An eleven year old with a penchant for poison is the protagonist and solver of murders, and these books are just plain fun...but probably not for children.  I especially enjoy how the author melds together the thoughts and fears of an eleven year old with her advanced thinking skills.  Excellent!
  • DragonLight by Donita K. Paul.  The fifth and last in this series about Kale the Dragon Keeper.  Basically, Kale and her friends have to deal with a cult that mimics the Truth but really leads people away from it.
  • The Lion's Skin by Rafael Sabatini.  My father recommended this book to me, and it definitely made my time on the treadmill go by more quickly.  Justin Caryll was raised to hate his biological father and sets off to London to ruin him.  While there, he realizes that he cannot do this because it is wrong, even while his half-brother is trying to get rid of him.  The nuances in this book made it an enjoyable read, and I really liked how nonchalant Justin acts while his quick mind takes everything in.
  • Remnants:  Season of Wonder by Lisa Tawn Bergren.  I was looking for something different and decided to try this author since I enjoy several of her children's books.  I was disappointed.  From her children's books, I figured she was a Christian, but you can't tell that from this book...or if she is, her theology is wrong.  While there is a "Maker," he singles people out with special marks and supernatural gifts which the real God doesn't do.  Setting all of that aside, the story, set in a post-apocalyptic world, is just okay.  I won't read anymore of this series.
What have you read lately?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Book Reviews: Two Children's Books

In Only God Can Make a Kitten by Rhonda Gowler Greene, a little boy asks his mother series of questions, wondering who made the trees, rocks, birds, and, of course, kittens.  His mother replies every time that only God can make these things.  Well, that makes the book sound boring, but it's really not since it's written in a delightful rhyme and reads very nicely.  The illustrations are wonderful and visually appealing.  I enjoyed reading this book to my children, and I recommend it highly.

The Behemoth Dinosaur in the Land of Uz by Maryluz Guerrero Salas takes place during Biblical times when Job was a little boy.  He and the behemoth Dippy are friends, and they teach Job's village a lesson about sharing the fruit and vegetation around the village, never mind the fact that Dippy would quickly eat all of the foliage around the village along with all of their crops.  I did not like this book, and I do not recommend it.  I think the idea behind it is great:  a book about Job and a dinosaur, one of the ones described in Job.  But the story is slow, and the grammar is terribly distracting.  It appears that it wasn't proofread.  The dinosaur's name is never capitalized, and I don't understand that.  The illustrations look like something one of my children would draw.  In short, don't bother with this book.

I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my review copies of these books, but my opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Nice Weather

It's hard to get a good picture of Daniel, but I did it!

We've been enjoying the nice weather this week.  With temperatures in the 70's and the wind blowing, it was almost a bit chilly a couple of times.  So far, it's been a fairly quiet week at home, and I've enjoyed it.  Here are a few other things for which I'm thankful this week:
  • I had a wonderful birthday supper with a good friend Saturday night.  I forget how nice it is to spend time with a friend, especially without the interruptions of children.
  • We're meeting different friends today at a museum.
  • I feel like I "passed" my interview to be director of our CC campus next year.  Now I just have to fill out the application along with several essay questions.  I haven't answered essay questions since college!
  • Homeschool story time at the library.  Love it!
  • My hens are all laying well; we're getting about five eggs a day.  And the chicks pullets are growing well and should be able to be integrated into our flock soon.
  • John was able to come home in time for supper several times this week!
For what are you thankful this week?  When was the last time you had to answer an essay question?  ;)