Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lies We Believe

I am in the middle of reading (very, very slowly) Doctrine by Mark Driscoll. It is such an intellectually and spiritually nourishing read. Today, I was reading, and something stuck me. I am on page 50, reading about the value of Scripture and the way in which God had everything to do with every word in the Bible. On this page, Paster Mark begins listing all that Scripture is, according to the Bible:

-given by God's inspiration
-the very words of God
-all we need to know God
-a perfect guide for life
-not to be take from or added to
-for everyone
-the standard by which all teaching is to be tested
-to be obeyed
-sweet like honey
-a lamp to guide our life
-food for our soul
-a fire that purifies and a hammer that breaks us
-a seed for salvation planted in us
-milk that nourished us

Good stuff.

Here is what I immediately thought of: Proverbs 31:10-31.

Have you ever been in one of those groups of women-- when they sit around and talk about how unrealistic that part of the Bible is. By the end of the conversation, it is concluded that it is a nice thought but not applicable to our culture.

Has this ever happened to you?

It happens to me often-- women my age are generally newly married, working, and/or in school.
When we arrive at verse 13, about wool and flax, we throw a fit. WHO has time for that?!
I do have to say that the conclusion always sounds nice-- we are in Christ. We don't have to worry about that. We are not condemned for our lack of housekeeping skills. Christ has completed us, therefore we can brush the verses aside.

The enemy is the ultimate deceiver. He mixes truth with lies in hopes of blinding and bonding us.
Truth: You are in Christ.
Truth: You are not condemned for being less than crafty and Betty Crocker-ish.
Truth: Christ more than completes us, as women.
Truth: I certainly do not have time to spin my own wool.
LIE: The "Proverbs 31 Woman" is irrelevant.
LIE: You can just brush these verses aside, and call them a "nice thought."

"An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
Th heart of her husband trust her, and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.
She rises white it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go our at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blesses; her husband also, and he praises her:
'Many women have don excellently, but you surpass them all.'
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fear the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates."

pure. true. trustworthy. for everyone. perfect. effective. powerful. sweet like honey. a lamp to guide our life. milk that nourishes us. the very words of God. 

Does my life reflect this? Not really.
Should I strive to be the woman God created me to be? Always.
Am I saved by attaining these things (which I never could!)? Absolutely not.
    "All our righteous acts are like filthy rags..." Isaiah 64:6

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; 
fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7

Hear me say this: 

First, I am not promoting a works-based, religious, salvation earning mindset. 
I am not anti-gospel.
In fact, I would argue that the women that I have mentioned, the women who put aside the wisdom that is provided for us in the Word of God, are not living in line with the gospel.

The Gospel is the power of God to save and transform lives. 
How are our lives being transformed if we refuse to accept the wisdom provided for us God's Word? Are we really allowing God is make us into the people he has created us to be? OR are we allowing his to change us on our terms?

Second, I understand that different women have different lives.
I do not at all believe that our lives, as Christian women, should look exactly like the Proverbs 31 woman. She lived in a different time and culture. But I do believe that we have an enormous amount to learn from her. Proverbs 31 is certainly applicable to our lives and should NOT be avoided due to inconvenience.

What we can take away from Proverbs 31:10-31 is more than anything an attitude.

more thoughts on this to come...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I said YES!

One year ago, Fletcher asked me to marry him. I am SO glad I said yes. 

Photo credit: Lang Thomas Leichhardt

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Good Morning Mrs. Magpie

Maggie is getting so big! I don't have a child to blog about, but I do have a little puppy! She is almost four months. She gets more and more feisty every day.

Here is the chain of events when Fletcher arrives home each day:

Seriously? All of her energy can not fit inside of her little body.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Giles Wedding

We are so thankful for Mark and Ashley. Mark was Fletcher's roommate for about a year. Mark and Ashley, and Fletcher and myself, all started dating the same week, were engaged in the same month, and married just a few months apart. It was such a blessing to live life so closely with them for a short time. They are now expecting a little one!

About six months later, here is a few snapshots of their beautiful wedding. I was so thankful to be given the privilege of shooting this wedding. It was a blast.

A New Vision

"...Seeking to see that person only in the context of the cross. This simple method brings the imagination into play. Imagination is a power given us surely in order to enable us to enter into another's experience. Christ knows and loves the person and will transform my mind so that I see him as I could not have seen him before-- loved, forgiven, redeemed. In this way, by the offering up of the mind and imagination, I take my stand beneath the cross of Jesus. There things look very different from the way they look to the lonely self. Thus the only reality that the self would be able to see grows dimmer as the bright reality that can be seen by faith grows brighter.

"This is new vision. The deliberate decision to think Christ's thoughts by allowing Him to remold the mind leads to a different way of seeing, which in turn leads to a different way of behaving towards others."

-Elisabeth Elliot

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind..." Romans 12:1-2

Saturday, July 2, 2011


This past week, my friend, Lindsey, let me took pictures of her sweet baby, Hadley. Enjoy!

Lindsey is such an encouragement. She is a wonderful mother.
And I can't get enough of her sweet daughter.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Our Newest Addition

Our newest addition, Maggie. She is a Westie. And she is now a whopping 13 weeks and 6lbs. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I love spring and all that it brings. But I don't love bugs.

I found this in our kitchen. This is our first bug. Documented. And shared with the world. We have lived in this house since October. We have strawberry wallpaper (no, not the color-- strawberries, as from your grandmother's kitchen) but no bugs. Until today. This is my solution.

On a happy note.
Introducing: our children.
I mean seedlings.

We don't have real children. We don't have a dog yet. But we have seedlings.
And oh, do I love them.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:31-39

Nothing can separate us from God's love for us in Christ. Encouraging.
I am more than a conqueror. How often do I actually remind myself of that truth? In Christ, I have already conquered sin. Why then, do I continue to live, too often, as though I have not? Fletcher is good at reminding me-- I need to talk to myself, instead of listen to myself. I need to preach the gospel to myself, even when I don't feel like it. In doing this, I glorify Christ and the Spirit working in me. Also, I can then speak the truth to others. One of our pastors, Robert Cheong told us last night-- "You can't offer the Gospel in a compelling way unless you are compelled by the Gospel."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Feminist Mistake

At the Gospel Coalition conference, I attended a workshop taught by Mary Kassian, entitled, "The Feminist Misake." This workshop was both helpful and hard to swallow for me. She gave us a brief outline  of the feminist movement within the US. I would like to give you all a summary:

I. Exultation of the home and the homemaker -- around the early 1950's
This is when new technology came out such as the mixer and washer. Technological advances for the home made the home a more enjoyable place to be. Women took pride in their work.

II. Discontentment -- late 1950's
"The restless housewife" began to discover that she was not as happy as she thought.
The book, "The Feminist Mystique," written by Betty Frieden, was released. Frieden stated that women were the "second sex." She encouraged women to rebel against men and this ideology. She suggested that men had created these social structures and that they were in need of being overthrown.

III. Redefinition
Women began to pursue a redefinition on manhood, womanhood, and family.

IV. The Golden Age of Feminism -- 1970's & 1980's
Personal pain and experiences became political.
Conciouseness-Raising Groups (CR groups) began meeting in women's homes. In these groups, women basically came together to talk about their problems as housewives. Together, they became more zealous and active in the movement.
Women gained government funding-- such as Planned Parenthood.
Women could now get a BA, MA and beyond in women's studies.
Sex became known as a powerful expression of a woman's self.
Equality means interchangeability.

V. Today
"It's funny how things change slowly, until the day we realize they've changed completely."
Women exult independence. Men are expected to conform.
But again, we are discontent. Where to go from here?
Some statistics from an article in Time, "The State of the American Woman":
-about 40% of women are the primary bread winners in the home.
-there are now more women in the workforce than men.
-College campuses used to be 60-40 (men-women), now the ratio has reversed.
-Women are now more anxious than men about their family's financial security.
-About half of women surveyed in households earning less than $75,000 want to delay pregnancy or limit the number of children they have.
Mary Kassain said, "When everything else has risen [rights, etc.], happiness has fallen."

I found Mary Kassain's lecture very interesting and encouraging.
This was hard for me to swallow:
We can't stereotype. We can't create checklists. We can't go back to the 1950's. 
Ouch. I am more guilty than anyone.
We live in a different culture! I have noticed-- and practiced-- we as Christian women tend to think that if we are just good little housewives, then all will be right in the world. BUT I, personally, have developed the ability to cook, clean, do all of the laundry, and be disrespectful to my husband all at the same time! Do you see the irony? Do you see the feminist ideology creeping into my home? I can be the perfect housewife, but I am still thinking along the disgusting lines of, "I am a woman and therefore superior to this man who is my husband." It is so evil!
My housekeeping skills have proved to be anything but my righteousness. Praise Jesus. My identity is not found in my wifey-ness.

Men are not the problem, sin is the problem!
Our problem as women is spiritual. It can not be solved by our own advances.
We can not lose focus! Our primary goal as women is putting the Gospel on display. Jesus died to set us free. Are we living as free women?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The reinvention of this blog.

I haven't blogged in a while. 
For all two of you who occasionally glance at this blog, I would like to point out the fact that I have deleted almost every post. The only posts that remain do so for my own benefit, honestly-- they're my favorite recipes! And this blog is the only place where I presently have record of them. So they stay. But I have found the others to be slightly vain and silly. 

A little silly. 
Not to be offensive, but only to be observant, I have noticed a pattern among many women.
Get married. Create a blog. Blog. ---recipes, organic gardening, couponing, you name it. 
Have a baby. Blog even more. ---post many, many pictures. Crying babies and complications not permitted. 

I was reading through some of my favorite blogs a few days ago and thought to myself, "My life doesn't look like this." The harmless though soon evolved into "Why doesn't my life look like this?!" What's wrong with me? She never screams at her husband. Where in the world am I going to find the time to soak my own grains? Her life is apparently perfect. I must find somebody who can teach me how to sew and fast! 

A little over-exaggerated. But seriously. I was so discouraged. 

Is my discouragement to be of the liability and fault of these other women? Absolutely not. 
Also-- people often have "family" blogs by which their distant family keep up with their lives. I get that.
But I have asked myself-- In what way can I best encourage and preach the Gospel of Jesus to my sisters (and often times, brothers) in Christ? I believe that the gospel of Susie Homemaker is far different than the Gospel that my Jesus has to offer. 

I have also struggled with the vanity that encompasses the blogging and twitter world.
Frankly, I don't care where you ate lunch or what time you go to the gym every day. Sorry. 
I found this quote on a blog post by Justin Taylor on the Gospel Coalition blog:  

“The Internet world we live in today is awash in narcissism and vanity, with some people taking their clothes off literally, because exposure gives them a rush, and others doing it spiritually—because the addicting power of talking about yourself, where anyone in the world can read it, is overpowering.” 
-John Piper

Pride. Vanity. It is overpowering

Here is the thought that I have wrestled with over and over-- 
Who am I to think that I have anything to write that is actually worth reading? 
I do not want to add to the narcissistic ideology that we as individuals are so interesting and fantastic that everybody wants to read about it. Again, I do not mean to be offensive, but only observant. 

Fletcher and I attended the Band of Bloggers meeting at the Gospel Coalition Conference
I gained a lot of insight from men who have struggled with the same convictions. 
My conclusions (gleaned from others)-- 

1.) The idea of blogging is not new. 
*Note: The idea of informing everyone of your change of shoes, this morning's breakfast, and your current location is new. And stupid. 
But people have written books and newspaper articles for a very long time. 

2.) It should be a conversation.
I want all two of you to interact with me. When you disagree, tell me! Let's talk about it. 
I feel that this is the best way to keep a small head on my shoulders-- it not really my blog. It is an instrument through which I can encourage others. It is a place where we can talk about it together. It is a conversation.

3.) I do not have it all figured out. 
The day I write the contrary on this blog is the day I will, by the Grace of God, shut it down. 
To echo the second point, it is a conversation! 
I am not a theologian. I am only a woman desiring to love the Lord with all of my heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37) and to spur others on to do the same. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Homemade Pancake Mix

Bisquick costs $3-$6 per 40 ounce box.

Think about that.

Bisquick is mostly flour, correct?

"I have flour in my pantry," I thought to myself. And it didn't cost me that much.

So, I made my own "Bisquick."

3 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 c dry milk powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter

1. Combine all of the dry ingredients. Cut butter into the mixture with a pastry cutter or two knives (or your fingers) until crumbly. Store in a well-sealed container in the freezer.

2. To make pancakes: combine 1 1/2 cups of the mixture with 1 egg and 1/2-1 cup of water. (Start with a 1/2 cup of water and add more as needed until desired consistency.)

I adapted this recipe from Cooking During Stolen Moments.

Another benefit of making my own "Bisquick" is this: I know exactly what is inside! I get a little nervous when I read the ingredients on almost any packaged item in the grocery store. I mean- if I can't pronounce it, should I be eating it? Simple is better. So, whenever I have the chance to make my own food from scratch, I jump at it!

And for those of you who are saying "I don't have time for that," You do. I promise.
It took me five minutes. Literally. And it was worth it!