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10.31.2007

A few nights ago, following a lovely evening with my husband, I decided we should have a bedtime story. 'Juvenile', you say? 'Pish posh', says I. As I walked over to our bookcase to find an appropriate work, suitable for bedtime relaxation and enjoyment, I discovered a book that I nearly forgot we had...

A favorite of mine when I was a wee lass, I believe I won this copy in some sort of elementary scholastic (no relation to the publisher) competition. Who can remember.

What I CAN remember is how I thought the book was very funny and my emotional tie to this page, in particular:

You see, when I was younger I was quite the songstress. By that I mean that I could usually be found humming a tune, and by that I mean belting out any song in my head for the whole world to hear. (Truth be told, I once sang "Phantom of the Opera" performance-style for my fifth grade teacher after school...you know the part where Christine is just singing "Ah-ahahahah-ahah-ahah-AH" in increasingly high octaves until she reaches that very last note that is light years above the staff? That's the one. Boy I really had something back then. Humorous at best, embarrassing at worst.) Anyway. When I was in Mr. Foster's first grade class I recall getting in my mom's car after school and humbly reporting that I had to get my name on the board that day (a punishment reserved for only the most maleficent of rule-violators). When she asked what I had done to deserve such a sentence, I confessed that I had been found singing during class. When she cocked her head in confusion, I continued: "...during silent sustained reading". What a laugh she must have stifled. I only know she must have stifled it because when we got to the dinner table that evening she calmly looked at my dad and said "Kelly got her name written on the board this morning in class. (turning to look at me:) Kelly, tell your dad what happened." And as I sheepishly announced my offense - dad was the harder spanker of the two - my dad had to turn his head for a few seconds, have a laugh to himself, and then turn back all straight-faced and tell me that I should be silent during silent sustained reading, just as the activity title suggested. But I knew that I wasn't in big trouble this time. What a relief.

At least Alexander had been found singing too loudly during singing time.

What's your favorite children's book?

I wonder what sport she'll play when she grows up??

10.14.2007




I mean, after seeing these pictures, is there any question?? Snuggling a soccer ball. And no, we didn't pose these shots. Her Auntie Kelly and Unkie Gene couldn't be any more proud! I wonder what she'll be getting for Christmas from us...



(proverbs)

10.09.2007

My husband reminded me of something wonderful the other day.

Some time ago, years before I was married to or even dating geno, I began reading Proverbs 31. I decided that if the Lord was going to bless me with a husband someday, I better start learning how to be a good wife asap. At the time I had hardly been exposed to Proverbs 31 ("the wife chapter", as I call it) and therefore it was all very fresh and new to me. As a sidenote - sometimes I start to think that there are parts of the Bible which I don't need to read, just because I've read them a couple of times before. I start thinking that I should move on to passages I don't know as well or that I've never read. But often I find that the parts I've read again and again can speak to me even louder (if I may say it that way) than 'new' ones, usually because those are the parts I need to hear the most. Sometimes those are the parts which speak to me most personally about Jesus' love and desire for His bride, and I just want to read them over and over, quite literally like a love letter. Just because you've read a love letter before doesn't mean you won't want to read it a thousand more times. Right? For me, the wife chapter is one of those letters.

Along the way (and as I dreamed about my future mystery mate) I started to pick out pieces of this chapter that stood out to me.
"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies." (v.10)
Wow. It would be nice to be valued like that.
"She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy." (v.20)
I'd like to be thoughtful and generous like that.
"She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar." (v.14)
I'm not sure what that even means. And then I eventually came to this part:
"Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land." (v.23)
I didn't really get what that meant, or what that had to do with a wife's behavior. Ok. So when this husband goes out among the people, when he's talking to his friends or other 'important' members of society, his reputation has preceded him. He is already known among the elders and in the gates because of his good name. Wait...whose reputation? Not his reputation, HERS. That's right. The words of the author here are only speaking of a husband in the context of his wife; the chapter is totally about her. It says "her husband" right there in that verse. So what does THAT mean?? We can't really assume that she had a bad reputation, and that that's what preceded him, because it doesn't fit with the rest of the passage. Every verse is speaking praise of this marvelous woman throughout chapter 31. This verse is no different. So I think we can safely say that it was her good reputation that preceded him. Hmmm.

This is what got me thinking. What does it mean to have such a good reputation that your husband is known among the people, even esteemed, just for what you've already said and done? At first it seems like this could be burdensome. It's impossible to be perfect, and we fall in our walk with the Lord a lot. But I don't think a burden is what the Lord wanted to express to wives in this chapter.

I suppose that there are literally hundreds and hundreds of ways that we could adjust our behavior to fit this 'reputation'. But as I read and prayed, the Lord revealed one of the simplest to me. What if I committed to speaking well of my husband all the time? Speaking ONLY good, ALL the time. Pretty basic idea, I thought. But when I thought again, I realized it's anything but basic. In fact, I was beginning to notice that there were many women, even Christian women, who didn't do this. At all. If I could count the times I've overheard different women complain about what their husband did yesterday, or what he said, or how he smelled or whatever...if I could tally up all the eye rolling and the disgruntled sighs and the deriding laughter...suffice it to say that it would be a really sad sum.

Does this mean our husbands are perfect? Of course not, nobody is. Should an abused woman decide to keep it a secret just so she can "speak well" of her abuser? Absolutely not. Extenuating circumstances aside, we, as wives, are in a unique position to see more of our husbands flaws than anyone else (and they see more of ours too!). That means that we have the unique opportunity to overlook more sins of his than anyone else does. And it means even more than that. As we overlook every fault, we begin to see all the gifts, talents and abilities that our God has given to our husbands. We begin to see our husbands in a new way, enabling us to be more supportive, more loving, more understanding, more compassionate. And THAT enables us to overflow with good things to say about him. If I had children, I might make the analogy of a proud parent beaming with joy at her child's accomplishments (no matter how small). But I don't have kids, so I won't make that analogy. You get the picture anyway.

Bottom line? I'm utterly thankful and totally awestruck that Jesus doesn't go around telling everybody else on the planet how cranky I was yesterday morning or how rude I was to the first grader who wouldn't be quiet during reading time. But sometimes this is how we as ladies speak about our husbands. We might be quick to get upset if we hear someone else speaking poorly of him, as well we should. Shouldn't the same principle apply to us in particular?? Yep. Instead, how excellent would it be if we overheard others in our community or circle of friends speaking well of him, just because of something good WE had said about him? We're in a powerful and gracious position. I pray that the Lord would remind us constantly about this small (yet HUGE) way we that can serve Him - by speaking well of our beloved. Because after all, our husbands are beloved of the Lord as well. Talk about being worth far more than rubies...what a high calling!

As another side note, how easy is it to speak well of your husband when he says things like this about you?? Pretty darn. And that's what reminded me (as I mentioned at the beginning of this post). I assert that I have the best husband in the whole wide world!! Thanks, geno.

wiggly woggly

10.08.2007

I know, I know, I've been a deadbeat blogger lately. I would say I'm sorry, but is that really necessary? I've just been busy is all. The truth is I've had many blog ideas rolling around in my blogging brain, but getting them into ye old computer form just hasn't happened. Funny, really.

But THIS has brought me back: gene and I had some face time with an adorable little puppy tonight! So cute was she that she has earned a quick blog rundown. Gene and I try to go walking a couple of nights every week, and tonight was one of those nights. Along our way, and out of the blue, we heard a little whimper and a tiny bit of a squeaking noise. We turn and look, finding nothing until we look down and see (something like) this:

But our puppy was (1) cuter, (2) younger, and (3) less white/more brown. Maybe more similar to this:

Yes, decidedly. Only ours wasn't sleeping. Anyway. She ran up to us, whimpered in the sweetest of puppy noises, and asked to be petted. We told her we couldn't pet her without her parents' permission, and by the way what were they thinking when they let her stay out in the front yard so late? So we did what any 'good citizens' would do and took her to the door. We knocked. We rang. We knocked and rang again. We walked to the other door (yep, there was another front door) and knocked and rang. Nothing. We asked across-the-street neighbor if this puppy did, in fact, belong to this house. Affirmative. But the parents were also deadbeat parents, because they weren't home and puppy was lost. She was too small to be wandering about, and every time we (reluctantly) tried to walk away, she followed us with fervor. Neighbor expressed some displeasure as to how the dog had apparently been out all day, and we became concerned. Not wanting our sweetheart to be harmed as she ran around the darkened street, we did what any dog-loving people would do...we put her in her backyard. We didn't want to, it's weird to open other people's fences. Neighbor had suggested it, as that's "where the dog stayed during the day", and we tried knocking and ringing again before we made the leap. In the end, we had no choice. The little wiggle puppy was just unsafe in the front yard. We did what we had to do.

But oh, how much more could we want a puppy??!?! We love puppies. Real wiggly woggly ones. We're coming, newfie!