Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Maybe a mini-break

Allright, chaos has broken out once again in Castle Monk. Dear hubby is pretty much throwing up toenails and not leaving the vicinity of the bathroom. Oh how I despise those pesky stomach viruses!

Did I mention the fact that I'm still trying to finish up painting the family room? Or that I'm in the middle of putting up the Christmas decorations? Or how about the fact that I signed up to do a craft fair on Saturday and have not sat down at the sewing machine ONCE! Not to mention the fact that since The Mad Monk is sick, I am in charge of finishing up getting the music ready for the Christmas program at our church, which no less has to be finished by tonite.

Oh, the organizational nightmare has begun!!! This is why I'm blogging instead of doing -- it's my way of being in denial. What a shameless wretch I am at times.

At any rate, depending on how the situation starts to unravel, it may be a day or two before I post again. Since I know for a fact that hundreds of you wait daily with baited breath for my next post (yeah...right) please feel free to go visit Kim C. She is very much hilarious and hasn't had a blog much longer than I, but does have quite a following already. She was already nominated for a Blog Award. I'm not bitter...really, I mean it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

This Journey

Because our journey to Reforming is relatively new (maybe 2 years) I spend alot of time separating the way I have believed for 30 or so odd years and the way I believe now. We all have our "sacred cows" and I'm no exception. It has been difficult and freeing all at the same time. Lately I've been pondering over the changes that has taken place in my life in the last few years and was amazed by what I found.

For the first time ever, I really think about the way I worship. During worship I am constantly chiding myself to stay focused and truly worship and glean from what I'm hearing. I want to hear the message. I want to apply it to my life. I want to sing not just the hymn, but relish in its text. I enjoy singing Psalms...who would have ever thought it?

For the first time ever, I actually have a hunger to know more. I'm hungering for God. Wow, it still seems so amazing to me. I want to search scripture more and I want to pray more (both of these areas still need more work). At times I get overwhelmed and start to think I'm a failure. Then my sweet hubby
reminds me that God's mercies are new every day (Lam.3:22-23). I cling to that scripture and realize that I'm nothing but filthy rags and only by God's grace can I claim those mercies.

For the first time ever I want to raise my children differently. This has been one of those harder moments. My older ones (12 & 14) have their "sacred cows" as well. Family worship was not a thrilling idea to them. The mini-Monks (2 &5) are growing up amidst all of this and embrace it as the norm.
I want my children to not just know and understand what they believe, but to live what they believe. I'm hoping that because of the changes my husband and I have made in our lives and what we believe that it will live out its legacy in our children for generations to come.
I will confess that I'm sometimes jealous of Reformed folk who've lived this way since before they were married. I think of how much better and easier it would have been to have raised my children like this from the beginning. Then I stop and ask myself if I'm questioning God's Providential hand in all of this. You see, The Mad Monk and I both came from broken homes. When we reflect back on our lives we see just how amazing God's Providence has been in our lives. The way in which I left Michigan to move here and how we actually met is a blog chapter in itself. But it dawned on me that our family's history of faith will start with us! How wonderful is that! A multi-generational legacy is not a bad trade for a sometimes difficult journey now.

I am blessed beyond measure. As I grow in grace and sactification I praise God that He has chosen me for this journey.

Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you

Monday, November 28, 2005

My Disappearance From Blogdom

Unfaithful blogging is not something I'm proud of. The Mad Monk even questioned me last evening about it. I hung my head in shame because I had recently chastised him over this same issue. As valid as my reason seemed, I knew I needed to right my wrong. So, here's my lame-o excuse.

The holidays are coming upon us and I, of course, decided to paint our family room and rearrange it for our guests we will be having over the oh okay, I did it for my own selfish reasons, but it was something that truly needed to be done. I haven't had time to hardly clean anything in my house much less blog. This is not good for an already organizationally challenged kinda gal. Actually, I am thankful that my kitchen table is clean, the majority of the dishes are clean and no one is searching for clean undies yet. With that said, here is what our family room looked like today at 2pm: Most of the painting is done in this picture with the exception of touching up some of the trim. My walls are "Dusty Timber" and the trim is in "Coconut Milk". The Mad Monk, in true guy fashion, calls it tan and cream. At any rate, I hope to post a "finished project" picture tomorrow. Blessing to you all! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

My wishes for a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Take time to be truly thankful for God's provision and the freedom we have to worship. Love God, love your families and take the time to tell them how thankful you are for them.

Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Now off to tend the sweet taters!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Mini-Monk Mayhem Part II...only worse!

In this season of giving thanks I am having to ask myself, "how does one give thanks for a stomach virus?". The two small Mini-Monks came home from church last evening quite ill. Actually, we had no idea of the proportions of thus said illness until the evening wore on.

Vomiting is not something on which one should dwell, I'm sure... but I just have to comment on it. If it weren't for the obvious pain the Mini'swere going through, the whole evening in retrospect, could have been almost comical.

Just as our 5yo dd gets settled in our family room the virus kicks into full force. The first episode takes place around 8:30pm all over the family room carpet. As I clean up my poor, sweet 5yo and get her settled with bucket in hand and cool washcloth, 2yo girl begins to complain that she has a tummyache. Mind you, this kind of banter is common, especially when attention is focused on someone other than her cute self. So I place 2yo on opposite sofa with sippy cup and blanket. In the meantime, 5yo begins to vomit again. I now switch opposing couches and begin comforting the 5yo. After the second time around, 5yo feels a little better so I go sit next to 2yo. 12yo daughter seems completely amused by the whole situation at this point. At this time, 2yo stands up (on the towel that covers up the now cleaned first vomit episode) to take a drink from her sippy cup and proceeds to vomit all over coffee table and the same spot in the floor where I have just cleaned up 5yo's mess. I begin hollering to the Mad Monk for back up. Between he and 12yo dd we now have a second pail, another washcloth and a second set of jammies. We have now had 3 vomit episodes and gone through two sets of jammies and it's only 9:00pm! This is where it gets good. Several minutes later 5yo begins to cry that her tummy hurts and she's going to throw-up. So I run to her on her couch and begin to comfort her while she is at this point having horrible dry heaves (which she continued to have all night- poor baby). At the same time 2yo dd is looking at 5yo with obvious remorse for her pain and begins lamenting into her own bucket that she is going to "puke" (her exact kidding). Once again, I think this is just her sympathy pain for her sister, when lo and behold, here it comes again with her! I now have two children vomiting into plastic buckets in sync on opposing couches. What is a momma to do? I yell for 12 yo dd to come comfort 5yo as I race to opposing couch to assist 2yo while hollering for back-up from the Mad Monk once again. 12yo is no longer amused by this situation now that she is a part of it. BTW, 14yo ds has long since retreated to his room with a can of Lysol spray in hand forbidding anyone and everyone from entering.

Long story short, it was a long night for the Monk's wife. She was up many a time with ill child and probably only got about 4 hours of broken sleep. Amazingly enough, a momma's body seems to put "self" on hold when it's babies need them. I truly thank God for creating us that way. Mini-Monk's are much better today and have had not one episode of tandem vomiting. For that I can find true thanks!

Psa 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Thanksgiving ponderings...

I love Thanksgiving. I love this whole season. I love the colors, the weather, the whole kit-n-kaboodle! What really irks me though is how it just seems as if it gets skipped over. I guess it's just not a notable --read: profitable -- enough holiday. An Old Fashioned Girl has some interesting ponderings in her comments on this as well.

I really think that as a nation we have lost our thankfulness for what we have now and how we arrived here. As a consumer driven society we simply do not have enough. So why be thankful, right? I am constantly reminding the mini-Monks of all the things for which we should be thankful. I remind them so much that sometimes I will get an occasional eye roll from the two older ones (which never happens without a mini-sermon from me concerning respect :) )

Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

I want Thanksgiving to be about more than just food and football. Oh, and let's not forget the Macy's Parade either! The Mad Monk and I want to have traditions that can be passed on for generations. We would like for Thanksgiving to be just that -- a time for thanks to God for all he has done. We both have family's, whom we love very much by the way, that really don't see things as we do. We would probably get eye rolls of monstrous proportions from some of them if we were to ask everyone to hold hands and tell why they are thankful.

So, the question remains: what are we to do? 1. Do we continue on in our traditionless manner and enjoy the holidays with our families while trying to incorporate thankfulness? 2. Or do we break away from family completely (for at least a portion of the day) and create a God-centered tradition that is all our own? I think you already know my answer yet the problem still remains as how to go about doing this without hurting feelings and offending.

Psa 18:49 Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

Hmmm...maybe #1 will work, afterall.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mini-Monk Mayhem

Well, the inevitable has happened. The Mini-Monks are ill. Sniffing, coughing, sticky drainage oozing out of orifices. Okay, TMI I know. You get the picture. I went to the health food store last night and got some vitamin C and some Horehound Blend drops. Anyone out there ever use these drops? I'm just now getting into all natural remedies, so I'm not real sure of what I'm doing. Now don't get me wrong...I'm not experiementing on my children. I talked with the hippie-looking lady at the store and this is what she recommended.

Hey, I finally figured out a use for the plastic Bible from the Challies drawing! It would be perfect for the almost 3yo! The other night she accidentally ripped a page in my Bible my parents gave me many years ago. What a great idea, huh? Toddler proof Bibles --preferably without the cartoon pictures of Jesus.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

We Gather Together

As a family that is fairly new to our Reforming journey, we have recently begun singing hymns in our family worship. My hubby, TheMadMonk, has put me in charge of picking out appropriate hymns. I have this handy little book called Then Sings My Soul (there are books I & II) which lists hymns and the stories behind them. One of my favorite hymns happens to be We Gather Together. Now some of you"experienced" Reformed folk out there might already know the history of this great hymn, but I did not until last evening.

It seems as if this particular hymn was written by an unknown Dutchman in 1597. It was written after horrific atrocities were committed against the people of the Netherlands by the Duke of Alba (Fernando Alvarez de Toledo). The acts of barbarism included the massacre of entire cities, bodies of thousands being hung in the streets and literally on the doorposts of homes for all to see. Approximately 10,000 people were executed and another 40,000 exiled. The Duke's ruling council was the "Council of Troubles" or better known as the "Blood Council". Does anyone out there in blogdom know why this happened? It happened because the winds of Calvinistic Reformation had reached the Netherlands. You see, King Phillip II of Spain, who owned this country at the time, was an arch-Catholic and he didn't like the fact that the Reformation was taking over, so he sent his Duke friend in to clean up the countryside. In the end the Catholic southern regions of the Netherlands (modern Belgium) pledged their allegiance to Phillip. The story doesn't end there though. Three weeks after the southern regions waned, the northern region (modern Holland) refused to submit to the Catholic Spain and declared its independence. The struggle was long and the country was devestated by warfare, but in the end the nation would not be denied and Spain lost its hold on the Dutch Republic. All of this, for the name of Christ.

I don't think I could ever imagine coming home to find my dear hubby's body hanging from our doorpost. Or watching my children die because of what their parents believe. We sometimes look at hymns and just see words with a nice tune. This hymn was written to express thanksgiving to God for a people's freedom from Spain and the ability to worship freely. A worship that is often taken for granted. A terrible price was paid that we might be able to gather together and worship freely in the name of Christ. Two thousand years ago another terrible price was paid on a cross. A price that has afforded me a Grace which I do not deserve. I can only hope that I can look back on history with reverence and appreciation for all that was sacrificed that I may be here, this hour, expressing my love for Christ and the grace He bestowed for which I have done nothing to merit.

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender wilt be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation:
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

Challies Drawing

Challies is giving away a plastic Bible. Really! Great for all you Survivor wanna-be's!

November Giveaway

Monday, November 14, 2005

Organization...and the lack thereof Part I

Organize: To put together into an orderly, functional, structured, whole. The American Heritage Dictionary

I see the definition, I understand the definition, I just can't seem to accomplish the definition. Being organizationally challenged is no cup of tea. I don't like the chaos surrounding it and I certainly don't like the looks of it. Now for those of you organized extraordinaires out there, please stop sucking all of the oxygen out of your homes in disgust. I didn't say we lived like swine. All I'm saying is that I'm challenged in this area.

My home stays picked up for the most part. Nothing is filthy or a health department violation. All I'm saying is I need some help in this area. There is alot of room for improvement. It's not so much that I have alot of stuff to get rid of, it's more of trying to get the things I do have organized.

Okay, I admit it...I have no routines. I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda gal. It makes for a great time in a pinch and at a party (like I attend SOOO many parties), but can be rather troublesome for the day-to-day homemaking duties. I can hear all you O.O.F's (Overly Organized Females) out there asking yourselves, "if she recognizes the problem, why can't she fix it?". Easier said than done ladies. I've tried the programs (Flylady), I've bought the books...I just can't get it. Face it...I'm an organizational nincompoop!

Does this mean that I just give up and decide that this is how I am and forget it? Is this how God made me unique? How about, I'm just a "creative mind"? Uh...hello? NO! Our God is a God of order. Our first example was Creation. Creation was a deliberate, ordered act of God. I really can't put up an arguement after the first chapter of Genesis! I have no ground on which to stand! lol!

So, what's a Proverbs 31 wannabe to do? I'm really not sure at this point other that try again tomorrow. Thank goodness for God's mercies! be continued

Friday, November 11, 2005


Leftovers are commonplace around our home. Sometimes I purposely make something once only to serve it twice (this is actually an excellent concept and something I will share more about later). Sometimes our days get crazy and leftover roast happens to be the best option for that particular evening. Most of the time when this happens it is due to poor planning on my part which is part of my lack of organization. At any rate, it's not necessarily something we always want to do, but when it gets down to the wire and there's a hungry family to be fed...inevitably we must do it. It's not the best, but second best.

I feel as if this is the way I am with God sometimes. He gets the leftovers. My day starts off unprepared and throughout the day things will get hectic and before I know it, I'm crashing into bed exhausted. That's when I get still and realize that once again, I've neglected God. So now I'm laying there thinking of the quiet time I didn't do and the prayers that didn't happen, with the exception of meals and family worship and wondering once again how this happened. God is getting my leftovers. He is getting my attention after the day is spent. My energy is gone and I'm barely able to hold my eyes open and there I lay trying to spend time with God. God does not want our leftovers. He wants our best.
These scriptures came to mind as I was thinking on this particular post:

Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Pro 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
Pro 3:8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

How can I expect God to bless my day, my goings and my comings if I don't give Him the time He deserves. It says "in all thy ways acknowledge him". God also tells us in James 5 that the "fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much".

I don't ever want God to be second best in my life. God has promised us so much in scripture that I sometimes wonder how I can manage to get through an entire day without prayer and reading my Bible. I really do admire those of you who manage to do this regularly. I don't want my time with God to be mechanical, something that must be done at such and such time every day (I'm not saying that this is wrong, I'm talking more about a frame of mind). I want my time with God to be meaningful. I don't want to do this because I HAVE to. I want to do this because I want to grow in God's unmerited grace and wonderful mercy.

Speaking of mercy...aren't you thankful His mercies are new every day? :)

Have a blessed Lord's Day!

Introductions are always good...

I am officially introducing my blog. It's not much, but it's mine. It allows me to get on my soap box whenever I feel compelled to speak out! It allows me to brag a little on my dear children and loving husband! It allows me to express what it feels like to be on this never ending journey of Reforming. It allows me to glorify God, which is what I seek to do daily.

So here I am. The Monk's Wife. My dear hubby is affectionately called The Mad Monk. Not as in angry mad...just sorta crazy mad. We have four dear children and letting God decide if we get more! I am not an organized person by nature and I don't pretend to be. My organization journey is alot like my Reforming journey...never ending. I love to cook, sew, do crafts, play sports and games, scrapbook and a plethora of other things I rarely have time for. This is due to my unorganization...uh...which might be another whole post in itself. Or maybe another 157 posts!

At any rate, I'm glad to be here in the blogosphere. I hope a few will choose to read and enjoy and if not....well, I'm glad to be here anyway!