Monday, January 29, 2007

Whate'er my God ordains is right

by Sam­u­el Rod­i­gast, 1676 (Was Gott tut, das ist wohl­ge­tan); trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Ca­ther­ine Wink­worth, 1863, and others.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His holy will abideth;
I will be still whate’er He doth;
And follow where He guideth;
He is my God; though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall:
Wherefore to Him I leave it all.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path:
I know He will not leave me.
I take, content, what He hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait His day.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His loving thought attends me;
No poison can be in the cup
That my Physician sends me.
My God is true; each morn anew
I’ll trust His grace unending,
My life to Him commending.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He is my Friend and Father;
He suffers naught to do me harm,
Though many storms may gather,
Now I may know both joy and woe,
Some day I shall see clearly
That He hath loved me dearly.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Though now this cup, in drinking,
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it, all unshrinking.
My God is true; each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken.
My Father’s care is round me there;
He holds me that I shall not fall:
And so to Him I leave it all.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Words for Mamas

For this Saturday's Words for Mamas, I included simply a link to Holly at Seeking Faithfulness for her post that is just perfect for mamas of little ones.

Rainy Saturday

I talked to my mom last night and she was concerned that something must be wrong since I hadn't been blogging this week. I told her that I couldn't remember what I had been doing instead. After we hung up, I remembered. I have read 2 of Elizabeth Prentiss's lesser know books--The Home at Greylock (on raising children) and Aunt Jane's Hero (on marriage). Neither is as good as her classic (and my favorite book of all time) Stepping Heavenward, but they are still great books and I would commend them to you.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday hymn

For All The Saints
by Will­iam W. How

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Apostles’ glorious company,
Who bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,
Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
Like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
Is fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
Saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
And seeing, grasped it, Thee we glorify.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
All are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
And singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Words for Mamas

For this Saturday's "Words for Mamas," I have two short ones from Honest Abe.

"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother."
-- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life."
-- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Eclairs and salsa

It was a fun snacking afternoon at the Holland household. I tried a new recipe that I had found about 2 weeks ago at Marmee Dear for Chocolate Topped Eclairs. I didn't feel like making my mom's famous vanilla pudding and so instead I filled them with Wal-mart brand instant French vanilla pudding. For the chocolate on top, I mixed about 6 oz of chocolate chips with about 1/4 c of milk and melted it on the stove, stirring a lot. They were so good! The eclair part was not as hard to make as I was expecting, and the only time involved was spooning on the pudding and topping them with the chocolate. And it was worth the trouble! The ones below are what I made, but click on the recipe to see how Marmee iced hers with a pastry tip, making them look so fancy!

I also made my friend Mary's homemade salsa, but since I haven't asked if it is a secret or not, I won't post the recipe. Joe is having the men from our Sunday school class over for a guys night tomorrow and he requested the salsa. The recipe is one of those where there is a lot of tasting and adding ingredients to taste and so it is always a risk on whether it will turn out or not. Thankfully, it seems pretty good--we'll see how it does after the flavors have time to mix overnight.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Blog roll--Seeking Faithfulness

Since she posts such a great one today, I must highlight another site on my blogroll—Seeking Faithfulness written by Holly. Holly is a pastor's wife and a mom to 7 beautiful children. Today, she examines the death of personal dreams in favor of God's calling to marriage and family and in doing so, captures the wrong thinking in Molly's post.

Holly's posts are always pointing the reader towards the audience of One and away from the world's applause. She is humble and has amusing and practical posts on motherhood that fit where I am and push me onward. Holly's blog is one that has fed me the most spiritually, of all of the blogs that I read. (On a side note, she also has a blog for pastors' families that is great too. I need that kind of experienced wisdom.)

Some of my favorite posts from Holly are:

This one where she writes of her husband's service to the family and her love for him
This one about an older couple and their faithful love
This one entitled, "Trust, submission, and reliance"
This one and this one about mothering little babies in the night time
This one entitled, "Mothering through sickness"
And my favorites, "Losing Myself" and "Losing Myself, part 2"

Monday, January 15, 2007

Circle meeting

I am so thankful for the ladies of this church. I am part of a circle that meets monthly and we study a book and discuss it at each meeting, along with sharing and prayer requests. We had our meeting last week and are studying Stepping Heavenward this year--one of my favorites! (On a side note, the girltalk blog is reading the biography of Elizabeth Prentiss for their current book club and they always have good content. Get the book and join it!) We just did chapters 1 and 2 last week, and I was so encouraged by the depth of sharing and the openness to God's work. One of the topics discussed was our failings as mothers and the struggles with our children's sin. It was a heart-wrenching time as we started to feel overwhelmed by our insufficiency. The next night, I was reading Barbara Curtis's Lord, Meet Me in the Laundry Room (heartily recommended) and found this quote:
When Satan hounds you about your weaknesses, you feel tired, depressed, and full of despair. When God confronts you, you feel remorse, quickly followed by the desire to change and hope for the future. (pg. 80)

What a good reminder! Romans 8:15 tell us, 'For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."' God is our loving Father and convicts in order to bring repentance, not worry or fear.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday hymn

All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night
Thom­as Ken, cir­ca 1674

All praise to Thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light!
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
Beneath Thine own almighty wings.

Forgive me, Lord, for Thy dear Son,
The ill that I this day have done,
That with the world, myself, and Thee,
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.

Teach me to live, that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed.
Teach me to die, that so I may
Rise glorious at the judgment day.

O may my soul on Thee repose,
And with sweet sleep mine eyelids close,
Sleep that may me more vigorous make
To serve my God when I awake.

When in the night I sleepless lie,
My soul with heavenly thoughts supply;
Let no ill dreams disturb my rest,
No powers of darkness me molest.

O when shall I, in endless day,
For ever chase dark sleep away,
And hymns divine with angels sing,
All praise to thee, eternal King?

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Words for Mamas

“All mother’s love their children, but not all mothers love motherhood.”

“This is the secret for liberating us into the fulfillment of motherhood. It is only when we receive the revelation that God has created us for this task and that this is our destiny that we will walk in the power and anointing of motherhood. It is only when we embrace motherhood with all our hearts that we will truly enjoy it. Even though we devotedly love our children, if we do not wholeheartedly accept the role of mothering, we will never experience the true glory of motherhood.

“This is why many mothers are frustrated with their mothering role. They have spent years training for careers, and find motherhood a threat to their career. Of course they love their children, but the actual function of motherhood is a hindrance to their plans. This causes vexation and frustration. God wants us to not only love our children, but to totally love and embrace the high calling of motherhood which He has given to us as a divine charge.”

~ Nancy Campbell, The Power of Motherhood

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Not much going on here. I've been reading more than writing online recently. A few sites that I've enjoyed that I'll probably wrote more about later:
Seeking the Old Paths
Biblical Womanhood
Inspired by a True Story

Monday, January 08, 2007

Ideas for resolutions

I am not a resolution maker. Knowing my track record with actually remaining faithful to resolutions, I'd rather save myself some disappointment and skip the whole thing altogether. However, I must admit that there is something to be said for taking time to evaluate one's life, witness, and service. In light of that endeavor, here is a link that I found with some suggested resolutions for young women. Most of them also apply to older women too. So, read through them and use them to be reminded of your priorities.

Also, don't forget Piper's fabulous and always convicting challenge to women.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday hymn

Words: Ho­ra­ti­us Bo­nar, 1855.

Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face;
Here would I touch and handle things unseen;
Here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,
And all my weariness upon Thee lean.

This is the hour of banquet and of song;
This is the heavenly table spread for me;
Here let me feast, and feasting, still prolong
The hallowed hour of fellowship with Thee.

Here would I feed upon the bread of God,
Here drink with Thee the royal wine of Heaven;
Here would I lay aside each earthly load,
Here taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven.

I have no help but Thine; nor do I need
Another arm save Thine to lean upon;
It is enough, my Lord, enough indeed;
My strength is in Thy might, Thy might alone.

I have no wisdom save in Him Who is
My Wisdom and my Teacher both in One;
No wisdom can I lack while Thou art wise;
No teaching do I crave save Thine alone.

Mine is the sin, but Thine the righteousness:
Mine is the guilt, but Thine the cleansing blood;
Here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace;
Thy Blood, Thy righteousness, O Lord my God!

Too soon we rise; the symbols disappear;
The feast, though not the love, is past and gone.
The bread and wine remove; but Thou art here,
Nearer than ever, still my Shield and Sun.

Feast after feast thus comes and passes by;
Yet, passing, points to the glad feast above,
Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy,
The Lamb’s great bridal feast of bliss and love.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

New hair

For my sister and any one else who wondered about the new haircut....

This is the day I had it done.

This is today; I'm still learning what to do with it.

Words for Mamas

“Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love.” --Mildred B. Vermont

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Have I cashed in my chips too early and gotten helmet head?

Today, I took a spur of the moment opportunity to drive to Jackson (the big city!) to get my hair cut at my favorite froo-froo salon Buzzin' Betty's. I had been growing out my formerly cute hairstyle when I realized that it wasn't doing anything for me, and I at least needed to get a trim to get some style back into my hair. Then, a magazine came in the mail yesterday with the cutest haircut on one of the models and I was hooked.

I brought the magazine with me to the appointment and Liz did an excellent job of recreating on me (28 year old pregnant mom of 3 young boys) the look in the pictures (probably early 20's cute model). As I was driving home though, I was already going crazy with the stiff feel of my hair and the smell of the styling products she used. This is an Aveda salon and so the things are very nice (and quite $$), they are just not me. So, the first thing that I did upon arriving home was to jump into the shower and wash my hair until the smell and stiffness dissipated a bit (believe it or not, from previous experience I know that the smell with probably linger for another day or two despite washings).

The boys were due to wake up from their naps by the time I was done and so I simply blow dried my hair without putting anything in it (I don't usually mind my own limited styling product use) and without trying to style it at all. The result—helmet head!

Now I understand that it is my duty as an American woman to submit to a helmet head haircut around the time that I officially am willing to admit that I am old, I just didn't think it would be so soon! Note to self: New haircut requires at least a minimum of styling unless I am willing to add 40 years to my age.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

With my latest cooking project slightly burned, but still edible....

Yesterday, I posted another thought in my series on motherhood that focused on God's calling to motherhood. Today, I wanted to focus more on the idea of seasons—that there are different phases in God's calling on our lives. A young unmarried woman or married woman without children has time that she will not have once the children come. This is true whether you realize it or not. The freedom and flexibility of your time is one of the blessings of this season of life, and choosing to use that time wisely will prepare you well for being a mama.

On a lighter note, I wanted to mention something to do with this time, in addition to my previous suggestions: LEARN TO COOK. While it is quite fashionable and funny to be a young woman who laughs off not being able to cook a thing, no one wants to live in a household with a mom who can't cook. I mean really, if you could choose, who wouldn't want a mom that could turn out a full delicious Christmas dinner with all of the fixin's (a little Mississippi lingo for all of you northerners). Now, we aren't all cut out to be gourmet chefs, but anyone who can read can learn a small repertoire of easy and nutritious meals and move on from there. The ability to cook really is learned through trial and error, not by some innate gifting.

So, for all of you young single ladies out there who laugh at your lack of domesticity: Get cooking! After all, no one wants a mama who won't.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Preparing for Motherhood

A few months back, I wrote a few posts in a series on preparing for motherhood. I included thoughts on avoiding debt and managing your money well and the value of motherhood.

The concept of this series is that God provides different seasons in our lives for different things. I am currently in a season of small children and it is the most tiring, rewarding, joyous, laborious, and full season of life that I have faced so far. (I am not arguing that this time will always be classified this way, that is just how I see it now compared with life up to this point. Who knows, I may decide that being the mother of teenagers is the most tiring, rewarding, etc....but I have a few more years to get there and then I'll have to compare.)

While I feel that I was more prepared to be a mom than many of my friends, I still know that I was woefully short of being prepared. I have actually had some friends (several) tell me that they just were not made to be mothers! And while I understand the feelings of inadequacy that would lead someone to say that, it is just so wrong. God's design for married women (barring the consequences of living in a fallen world—disease, infertility, etc.) is motherhood. It is evident in our biological design and throughout the creation story as He instructed Adam and Eve to be “fruitful and multiply.” And we all know the NT prescriptives to women that focus on the homefront. Even the Proverbs 31 woman, who is sometimes erroneously used as an example of a working woman, is busy at home!

There is much in motherhood that runs directly counter to our culture's roles and priorities for value in a woman. Motherhood calls for one to die to self, while the world tells us to live to our full potential. We must embrace the promise of Matthew 10:39 that, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” It is precisely in the sweet service of caring for my family that God is present and active in me.

Over Christmas, I had a heated discussion with a family member about womanhood. She had commented on a couple that we both knew who was having trouble in their marriage because the wife had recently started working and the husband was feeling like he wasn't getting enough attention. She said that the problem was that the husband was controlling and didn't like his wife doing other things. My family member said, “Well, she should be able to do what makes her happy, what fulfills her.” I made the point that by marrying, this woman had agreed to love and serve her husband, and if he felt like he wasn't getting enough attention then he wasn't and that was what mattered. I even made the shocking statement that I thought women should mainly take care of things at home and that men were responsible for working to care for the family.

The point that Joe made later (he had been quietly observing our interchange) and that I wish I had thought of at the time was that it was exactly in service, in giving up “me” for “another,” in the submission of my will to the Creator, that I will truly be fulfilled—and filled with Christ.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Amazon and challah

I have spent most of the last hour waiting on as it slowly loads via our dial-up connection. We live out in the country where you can't get a cable modem. Not only do we have dial-up, but we have old-fashioned copper instead of the newer kind (fiber optic, maybe?) of phone line and so the fastest we can get is 28K. Anyway, I'm trying to update my wishlist since my birthday is coming up, but I am about to give up for the night.

Before I do, I wanted to mention a new recipe site that I found this weekend. Tammy's Recipes has fun healthy recipes and appetizing photos that accompany easy to follow directions. I made her challah last night and it was delicious.