Saturday, April 5, 2014

Beautiful Little Moments

I love my son.  I really love my tiny little person!  I am overwhelmed by the joy that he brings to my life. I was not prepared for the love I would have for him, how sanctifying he would be, and how I am so glad and humbled that he brings out such patience, care, tenderness, and love in me.  I see him and I want to snuggle him, kiss him, hold him close, rock him, tickle him, and hear his sweet baby coos, giggles, and laughter.  I am always surprised at how genuinely happy this child is!  He is still human, and yes, he does cry.  But usually when it's time to eat or sleep. (Oh, and those moments when his sinful little self shows, yes I have a depraved little baby who needs grace just like everyone else!)

Just earlier I held him as he cried, overly exhausted (we went out canvassing for some local candidates and he missed his longer nap and had a short one instead).  After a couple minutes he calmed down and I just sang to him.  I always sing to him before I lay him down to sleep for a nap or bedtime.  As I held him in my arms and swayed, singing psalms and hymns, I looked down at a peaceful baby, so content, secure, and trusting in my arms.  He was no longer crying, just snuggled against me listening. He even started to sleepily "talk" to me.  I didn't want to set him down, he was so sweet and precious... so I didn't.  I sang a little longer, held him a little tighter, and thanked the Lord for such a blessing!  The laundry could wait a few more minutes to be put away.

It struck me, these moments are so beautiful.  These moments are so new, and yet so changing.  He will continue to grow and change, and one day he will not be my sweet little son, but my grown up son.  I may have more babies, Lord willing, but they will all have such different personalities, I can't expect it to be identical.  So this beautiful moment I soaked it all in, immensely grateful to have this child in my arms. 

Each day I am blessed by such moments through out the ordinary course of events. I have found that to find hidden joy, I must seek it out and incorporate the mundane with the precious.  When I go out and water the garden and dump my compost, I put 2nd Samuel in a carrier to be close to me.  Or when I fold clothes I lay him next to me/or set him in my lap and we can interact as I fold.  Even when I am in the laundry room I take him there.  When I vacuum I put him in the carrier again, and he just hangs out (pun intended) with me so contentedly.  And my favorite thing has been to establish enjoyable routines, such as always singing to him before he lays down.  I enjoy singing, and he loves to listen!  Changing diapers is delightfully fun. Yes, fun!  He just loves it, seriously.  Each morning after he eats, we change his diaper, and get him dressed... and I have my morning song (This is the day the Lord has made). He always grins and enjoys it.  Then he coos and giggles and we "talk". Through out the day during each time I'll sing a catechism question/answer to him and he squirm/giggles/coos with delight.  The day is filled with fun little moments, and I get every day chores done while he is awake.  Even while I nurse him, I like to read adult books. Sometimes I even read aloud to him.  But lately, he gets distracted when I read aloud and wants to grab the book from my hands instead of eating! Haha!  Maybe one of the cutest things he does (there are SO many, I can't really choose), is when we lay him down for bed and he pops his head up, gives us a sheepish grin, then starts cooing away, giggling, and looking over at us. (He is in a co-sleeper).  Then when we turn the light out he gets quit and falls asleep. He just knows lights out means serious bedtime, LOL!

Again, I love my son!  God has been so good to us, and each day we are reminded that children really are a blessing from the Lord.  I know days will get harder and more complicated as he grows and matures, but life is to be lived one day at a time, one season at a time.  I am not going to get ahead of myself worrying about the future, but prayerfully considering the days at hand.  I know I have weaknesses and need growth as a godly mom.  But I suppose that is one of the beautiful designs of the Lord's, to allow mom and dad to grow with the baby. (:

I am so blessed and love motherhood!  I really am delighted by just how joyful and fulfilling it is.  One of the huge reasons is because I am able to be a keeper of the home and have my little one with me all day.  I could not imagine leaving him with others every day to care for him.  I thank God that He has given me a godly husband, one who takes seriously the duty to provide for his own (1 Timothy 5:8), as well as see the biblical design of womanhood.  Because he so faithfully and tirelessly works to provide a stable income for our family economy, I get to spend my days contributing in others ways, such as meal planning, gardening, being a good steward of our money, research/study many topics, caring for our child, keeping/caring for our home, and so many things that fall under "home management"!  What beauty there is in being a wife and mother.  Oh, I love caring for my little arrow! (: 

P.s. For some reason the blog won't let me upload any pictures or videos.  So to see this really cute video of him enjoying the johnny jumper for the first time, click the youtube link:

2nd Samuel in the Johnny Jumper

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Greatest Centurty of Reformation, Always Ready, Chosen By God, & Praise Her in The Gates Book Reviews

Maybe I should have just entitled it, "All the Recently Read Books of 2014", still a mouthful, but less words, ha. I just was sitting down to write the review for the Sproul book but decided to check my Goodreads Account to follow up on all the books I've finished so far this year.  Not only have I slacked off on writing reviews, even if only short ones, I have not been blogging twice a month like planned.  As in, March totally failed, nothing published on the blog at all. :/

The Greatest Century of Reformation, Peter Hammond 5 Stars
Always Ready, Greg Bahnsen                                            5 Stars

Praise Her in the Gates, Nancy Wilson                             3.75 Stars
Chosen by God, R.C. Sproul                                              4 Stars

Peter Hammond's The Greatest Century of Reformation was very fun to read.  It read as a story of history, not dry boring facts at all.  He high lights many of the influential reformers, both well known and lesser known.  I learned many new fascinating facts about different men's lives and made me praise the Lord for His goodness in using these men in enlightening the world to His truth about the bible.  The Reformation paved the way for all men to read the bible in their own native tongue, something I think most of us take for granted by barely reading our bible.  I've heard Peter Hammond speak in person before at a conference (where I purchased this book from) and his books are every bit as interesting and thought provoking as his teaching, maybe even more so.  This is basically a crash course in one of the most important times in history (save for the first coming of Christ, of course).  I believe every Christian ought to read this book and know where we came from.  I would even venture to say most Christians will thoroughly enjoy it! I will read this again for sure, and I plan to read it to my child(ren) as well as use it in our home education "curriculum".

Greg Bahnsen's Always Ready was a difficult read.  But it was that perfect mixture of challenging yet comprehensible.  I've heard my husband and his father say this was written for an 8th grade level.  Well! Doesn't that just knock my intellectual pride down a few pegs.  This is probably the best introduction to Presuppositional Apologetics, in my opinion.  I've read different articles, listened to lectures, heard friends/family discuss it, and watched many a Bahnsen Youtube video, but this one book is fantastic if you are interested in it for the first time. What I was constantly impressed with was Bahnsen's fidelity to the word of God.  Few books quote and reference scripture so extensively to build their case.  But seeing as how presuppositional apologetics is all about the Word of God as the starting point for apologetics, I would have been disappointed had this book been written/formatted in any other way.  Speaking of, the chapters in this book were excellent!  They were just the right length (rather short) for me to finish one chapter during on feeding with 2nd Samuel. You could even use this as a "devotional" book, since most of the book is this way.  The last chapter was immensely helpful in general.  Over all, I will have to read this (or another book on presuppositional apologetics) soon, because though the more I read, the more familiar I am with it, I quake in my imaginary boots to try and apply the method in a debate. I really don't want to debate.  But I do want to be always ready! Another must read for any Christian.

Nancy Wilson's Praise Her in the Gates was actually a good book. I picked it up expecting to love it, and was disappointed when a couple chapters in I was not liking it at all. The chapter on differences of opinions concerning medical decisions really distanced me from it and I set it down for a few weeks.  I am really glad I went back and finished, because over all it was a wonderful book of practical application.  Each chapter addresses different aspect of a Christian Wife and Mother's duties, what the scripture teaches, why it is important, and real life examples and instruction on what that should look like.  She is not dogmatic saying "Do it this way", but rather gives the principles and general application of it. One thing I greatly appreciated was her stance on education: Christian Education is a must.  I personally am an advocate for Christian Home Education.  Some people may not like that she is not pushing for home education, but I truly believe the first battle to engage is to get all Christians to understand that those little arrows entrusted to their care need to be brought up in a thoroughly biblically based education... and government school isn't cutting it. At. All.  Ok, back the book. (: This is a very small book, very easy to read, and very edifying. I will need to read more books in this genre of womanhood to find out which one I think is a must read (;

R.C. Sproul's Chosen By God is a thorough book explaining the controversial doctrine of predestination.  He pulls no punches, he knows it's controversial and says it straight out: everyone has a view of this doctrine, but is it the biblical one?  You can't get around this issue because it is clearly taught in scripture.  So, he explains varying views, all while being open about where he stands.  R.C. Sproul is one of my favorite teachers.  The Lord has really gifted him in teaching in general.  He is engaging and knows how to bring seemingly lofty and high doctrine down to an understandable level for any Christian at any stage in life.  This book proves to be no different.  He addresses the common arguments for and against, dissects them, compares them to scripture, and most importantly interprets scripture with scripture.  No bible verse stands alone, but rather any doctrine must be held in scrutiny with the rest of scripture.  I think is an excellent book for anyone who is new to this idea of predestination, and even those who have their mind set against it but want to read more on the topic.  He even tackles the controversial TULIP acronym, and pretty much destroys it and changes the letters around for better terminology that more accurately sums up the essential points. And no, Calvin did not invent predestination, take your argument up with God (as a side note, Augustine pre-dates even Calvin, battling Pelagius and his heretical views.) So there you have it.  If you have never ever read anything about predestination, please begin here in your reading along side scripture.  Don't be daunted by your preconceived ideas, but rather pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you eyes to see the truth of scripture as it is, not as you want it to be.  For when we are not willing to be teachable and admit we have been wrong, this is nothing more than a stagnant prideful life.  Not to mention we are setting up false gods in our mind when we do not submit to scripture, even when it hurts our pride.  And yes, as I learn and grow I realize I have to die to self and be a living sacrifice unto God.  All that to say, let this book challenge you and read it if you were repulsed that I even read a book like this.

What have you read so far this year?  I try and choose a wider variety of books that way I am challenged and stretched in my reading.  I don't want to always read easy things, or always read hard things, because then I might get discouraged or get puffed up.