Saddle up your camels, ladies, we're off to battle! A free-wheeling commentary of a lady who believes that women belong in combat, certainly not in the military, but in the home -- in the spiritual battle for their families. Join us on the frontlines as we cover homeschooling, the culture wars, raising sons, virtuous manhood and womanhood, helping our husbands, femininity, serving Christ the King, and all other fronts in the holy war we face. Up camels!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

My Friend Cindy Adams Beholds the Face of the Father

An odd thing has happened over the years. In a myriad of different ways, for a wide-ranging variety of purposes, with connections from Connecticut and Massachusetts to North Carolina, I kept running into Cindy Adams online. From seeking our help in homeschooling when she was adopting a group of children to the grown child of a Connecticut friend looking for a family to stay with to the MOMYS group, Cindy and I kept getting connected.

I am so thankful for that. Cindy is an incredibly godly woman whose prayer, encouragement and writing has helped me to grow in the Lord and encouraged me in trials. You are missing a treat if you don't check out her blog, Faithful Promises, and read what she has written.

Cindy died of cancer Monday, but she lives! She is with the Lord, beholding the face of her dear Father in heaven. Her husband Howard and ten beloved children are missing her mightily, though. Please pray for them!

And dear Adams children, I wrote this several years ago when the Lord took home a friend of mine. The children of several MOMYS who have parents in heaven have read it and been encouraged by it. May it encourage you!

My dear young friends,

I am writing because I have been through what you are going through. My father died when I was 14 years old. I felt so sad and confused and frightened. I wondered where we would get the money to live on and if we’d have to move. God provided all we needed and we stayed right there in our house and my mother still lives there - and it’s been over 30 years!! Now my children go to spend the night in my room. I was afraid that everything would change, that we wouldn’t be a family any more without Daddy. Although Daddy wasn’t with us, and we missed him awfully, everything didn’t change. Mama was still Mama, we were still a family, we still celebrated holidays as much as we could like we did before - and we had lots of happy memories of Daddy to share.

I was also sad. I was sad that Daddy wouldn’t see me graduate or be able to walk me down the aisle when I got married. God wiped away my tears and comforted me. I know my Daddy is in heaven and that our Lord is telling him all about us. I know he can’t wait until we all get to heaven and he can meet my children. When I graduated, all my grandparents came, and I knew Dad was proud of me, even though he couldn’t be there. When I got married, my brother gave me away and I never loved him so much as I did then. It drew our hearts together. It was beautiful and special and nothing spoiled it.

I also felt funny when Dad died. Sometimes I wanted to cry and cry and cry. But sometimes I wanted to laugh and be carefree and pretend that awful things never happen and I was worried that people would think that I didn’t love Daddy if I did that. It’s okay! When you feel like crying, cry. And pray to the Lord for comfort. When you feel like laughing, laugh. Anybody with any sense knows you love your Dad and he wants you to be joyful. We are Christians and we shouldn’t mourn like the pagans do - with no hope. My father is in heaven - perfectly well, enjoying the Lord, and I know he wants the same for me. Don’t ever be afraid to be joyful!

I worried about my Mama, too. She seemed so sad and worried. I wondered how I could take care of her and help her. Now that I’m a mother, I wouldn’t want my children to worry about me. I am stronger than they are, both physically and spiritually. I would want my children to trust me to take care of them. How can you help your father? Be honest with him. Tell him what you are thinking about. Share your feelings. Remember your Mama and help him teach the little children about her and share those memories with them. Obey him and do your school work and chores. Give him lots of hugs and don't worry if he just seems sad and grumpy sometimes. That’s a great time to pray for him.

It has been over 30 years since my father died, when I was fourteen. I can see the truth of God’s Word when it says that God would be a father to the fatherless and a judge for the widows. He has taken care of my mother and brother and me in a great way. We miss Daddy and we will never forget him, but we are happy adults. God has been so good to me! He has loved me and saved me, given me a great husband, blessed me with eight wonderful children. I wish I had known when my Daddy died, that everything would be okay, that I would be happy again, that my life would turn out just right. That’s why I’m writing to you. I thought it might encourage you to hear from someone who has suffered what you are suffering and has seen God’s mercy. He is faithful. He has taken care of me and He will take care of you. He promises to do it and He always keeps His promises. I love you all for your mother’s sake and I’ll be praying for you.

With much love and concern,
Melanie Young,
daughter of "Bill" Smith, 1940-1978

Monday, June 15, 2009

The New Printing Press

The invention of the printing press revolutionized revolutions :-) The Reformation was largely spread through pamphlets written by the Reformers. The American Revolution started with Committees of Correspondence and the great debate over the future was carried on in the newspapers. The publication of The Federalist and The Anti-Federalist papers shaped our new nation. The press allowed the opinions of one man to travel far beyond those who could hear him in person, far more efficiently than hand-copying.

The photography, radio and television brought even more immediacy to revolution and war. Who could forget the image of the flag-raising at Iwo Jima? And I think everyone in my generation can clearly remember the Germans dancing and celebrating the night the Berlin Wall came down. Sadly, we also remember the brave student who faced down the tanks in the square of that country our family loves so much (don't want to hit any hot word buttons here - we do have family there).

Today we got to see a whole new media's effect on revolution. It's been fascinating to see the unexpurgated real life stories coming out of Iran on Twitter @persiankiwi and @Change_for_Iraq . How can a tyrant spin the news when the news hits the world as soon as it is made? Wow. Sic semper tyrannis! Read all about it on John Calvin's blog.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Today the government schools of Wake County are in session even though it is Memorial Day. The sad thing is that the school folks probably just thought they were asking their students to come back from the beach a day early. What is our country coming to? So many have suffered and died to preserve our freedom that it is tragic that we can't even take one day to remember their sacrifice.

Well, our family is going to remember. Soon we will head over to Scott Brown's Farm for the nation's best Memorial Day Observance: Won't you join us?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Catching up on receipts

It's been like December since I've had time to enter receipts into Quicken. Late in December, we discovered some heart issues with our unborn child, then I was hospitalized for preterm labor, then I was on complete bedrest (Don't ever try to do your taxes lying on your side... ouch!), then my brother was visiting from China, then Katie was born, then she spent most of a month in the Pediatric ICU...

Anyway, my cute little pink elephant handbag was starting to look like a big fat elephant so I sat down this weekend to enter receipts. Now, I haven't just been flying blind financially. Quicken will download transactions from our bank and credit card, but when the transaction is from Wal-Mart, it could literally be anything.

Those are the receipts I hate. It's never just "groceries" or "medical:medicine:OTC", it's bike tubes and socks and diapers and milk and calcium tablets and a mum for crying out loud! My gripe today is whoever the genius is that types in the description that is printed on the receipt. When you enter your receipt three months later, "PX F C 64LD" means nothing, nothing! I do know that whatever it is costs $5 and we've bought two of them in the past couple of months, but I am up a tree to know what it was. Last week, after much perusal, we finally figured out that "LBN AL KEYWD" was a Little Ben key-wound alarm clock. Now why couldn't they have said "LITBEN CLOCK" for the same number of letters???

If you know the clown that inputs those descriptors, would you please inform him his job is to describe the item in 12 spaces or less, not to invent a new code, huh?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

One-Handed Typing

There are so many things going on that I want to comment on, but I just don't have the patience to type one-handed. Why would I have to do that? Well, Katie is one smart little girl. She figured out very quickly in the PICU that if she stayed latched on, everyone pretty much left her alone and didn't do anything ugly to her like start an IV or check her temperature. So, she decided she'd just stay latched on for the foreseeable future. Hence, one-handed typing.

Here are some things I want to comment on and don't have the patience for. I'll bet you know where I stand without my saying so anyway :-)

Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the use of international law in American courts

The bailout and why I think I can spend my $27,000+ share better myself

The art of filmmaking and the joys of family projects

The fragility of life and what it is like to have a sick newborn

Ways to help folks with sick children

The CPSIA and why it is putting some great companies out of business

Remarkable providences

I could go on all day. Here's hoping I'll have time to type soon!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our Little Katie

We are overjoyed that the Lord has added another arrow to our quiver - Katherine Luther, named after Martin Luther's beloved wife, Katherine von Bora Luther. Many of you know that little Katie has an electrical problem in her heart and we have been in and out of the hospital for weeks. Her care page is the best place to find out what is going on with us right now.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Divorce and Homeschooling

I recently posted a bit about the recent divorce case involving the Mills family in which the judge has ordered the children to be put in public school next year. I wasn't satisfied with my post on rereading it, so I took it down. If you commented, please feel free to comment again, I didn't see your comments until I had taken it down and now there's no post to attach them to.

I want to address the situation in general, not in specifics. I wrote on this blog some time ago, an open letter to homeschooling parents considering divorce. Once again, we see that when you enter the divorce court, you are telling the government that the adults in the situation can't agree and you are handing over all authority in your family to the judge.

I am very concerned about the unbridled authority divorce court judges have, but I am even more concerned about the unlimited authority family court judges have in cases where the parents agree, but the government does not. I am thinking of situations such as families dealing with false social services allegations, or situations such as homeschooling and private schooling families are facing in Germany, where children are being removed from the home solely because they are not in public schools. Where should a judge's authority end?

That's a very hard question - and one that can cut both ways. A judge that is limited from stepping in against our side, may also be limited from stepping in on our side. I believe a lot of folks don't understand that.

So what can we do? I think one of the best things we can do is to educate individual judges. Are there any judges in your circle of acquaintances? If not, you probably ought to get involved in your local political party. If so, make an opportunity for them to meet your children and to get to know you as a homeschool family. One positive example can change someone's whole attitude. Another thing we can do is work to get homeschooling parents and homeschool friendly people elected to the judiciary. A few years ago, we were able to get a homeschool dad elected to our state Supreme Court. Now there are at least two judges on the court quite friendly to homeschoolers. You can win the friendliness of likeminded judicial candidates by working on their campaign and just letting them know your family. Another thing I would like to see is state homeschool organizations seeking out judicial conferences and offering to present workshops on homeschooling law so that all judges are better educated about educational freedom.