Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Seventeen Months

When we were pregnant with Emeth, we came across this quotation by Ann Judson, wife of missionary Adoniram Judson. They had lost their first child, still nameless, at sea while sailing to Burma. At the death of their second child, a seventeen-month-old Roger Williams, she wrote:
Our hearts were bound up with this child; we felt he was our earthly all, our only source of innocent recreation in this heathen land. But God saw it was necessary to remind us of our error, and to strip us of our only little all. O, may it not be vain that he has done it. May we so improve it that he will stay his hand and say 'It is enough.'*
I turned to Hans and said, "No, I can't. I would not be able to say this about the child in my womb." O little did I know about the preciousness that her words were describing.

Emeth is now seventeen-months old. In fact, he is turning a year and a half in two days. As we were saying good night, I watched our "little all" as the sounds of his squeals and the thumping of his fat feet filled the apartment (and probably the neighbors' too). He is our "innocent recreation," though Emeth is not our only and we are not alone in a completely heathen land.

I once heard someone compare evil to black paint. As black is in every masterful painting, evil and suffering is upon the canvas that is this fallen creation. The Lord is the artist. He is sovereign, over rebels and children alike. He is a good Creator; he is kind to his creatures. He does all things well, and makes all things beautiful. The black in our lives is no mistake; every stroke is a part of the whole.

May the Lord grant me a tiny portion of Ann's faith in his goodness and sovereignty! May our present trials not be in vain and may we so improve for his glory.

*John Piper gave a brilliant exhortation on the lives of the Judsons in one of his biographical sermons.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Beauty, Modesty, and the Wardrobe

For nearly every week in the past three years, it has been my utmost privilege to teach Sunday School to a group of youth at our church. Last Sunday, we began a series on Beauty, Modesty, and the Wardrobe. A touchy topic, I know.

A girl's wardrobe represents much of how she wants others to perceive her. It takes courage for one to look at the mirror and see ourselves for who we truly are. Asking questions like, why am I wearing what I am wearing? What is my intention when I dress like this?

This topic has come up again and again in different contexts. Each time, I wished we had a firmer foundation to frame the discussion. So this will be the purpose of this class, to look closely at what the Scripture tells us about beauty, modesty, and what we should wear, and contrast this with what we learn from culture. How do we present ourselves as ladies who profess that the chief end of humanity is "to glorify God and enjoy him forever"?

Besides, what better topic is there to learn about when I have an awesome group of high school girls with me this Fall? The time is ripe for the taking.

Here are the links to the series:
Part 1: In the Garden
Part 2: Shame
Part 3: Sackcloth
Part 4: Bridal garment
Part 5: Christ
Applications: Take Two
Hunger: Modesty is not just about clothes

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In praise of him who married me

Seldom do I praise my husband and I do not thank him enough. I think it is only appropriate to commence this blog by singing the praise of him who loves me and married me.

We met at the end of my long sojourn in the desert. His arm gave me that final pull to climb out of the miry pit. Together, we had a dream of making a pilgrimage to the High Country. As a symbol of this, he proposed marriage with the hope of a trip to Jerusalem. I look forward to walk with him upon the soil of King David and breathe the air of Mount Zion.

Since our nuptial vows, he continues to uphold my steps and prevent many falls. When I fall and I do, a lot, his shoulder provides a safe place for repentance.

He is my child's father. My life overflows with laughter and silliness when these two get together, which is thankfully very often. He keeps things in their proper priority, distinguishing the essentials from the secondaries.

He is a teacher to me, an instructor of how to think, most importantly, about the Scripture. He believes firmly in our formal education, thus sacrifices much comfort and time for me to remain a student of the Word. He defines words, stays up during the burning of midnight oil, corrects grammar; he challenges, exhorts, and inspires.

He is my personal trainer. Our romance is a classic one of athlete meets non-athlete, computer-savvy-person meets non-computer-savvy-person, strategy-game-winner meets non-strategy-game-player. I am no experts in these things, but love can transform and it overcomes many fears.

I am grateful to you, my dear companion.

A New Space


This a an extension of a blog page we started shortly after Emeth's birth. We found much pleasure in keeping track of his growth and development through the assistance of Tumblon, a team of people dedicated to helping parents navigate through the joys and questions of parenthood.

After some time, however, I find myself wanting to record things more of a personal nature, thoughts from my daily life that extends beyond the categories of parenthood. No doubt Emeth will be one of the main topics here, as he remains a wonderful and complex subject, but hopefully this provides a space for me to write about random bits from here and there.

Welcome, friends, and have a seat.