Elizabeth to some, Betty to Grandpa, Grandma/Memaw to us kids. We were all blessed to know her. She loved her Savior. She served Him well for many years. She was a diligent prayer warrior, often waking up in the middle of the night because God laid somebody on her heart. She was strong. With quite a spunky side. (Grandpa would tease her just to draw her fire. all in good fun) She gave us alot of laughter-many times unwittingly. She cooked comfort food and coconut cake. Even while she was sick she still took care of everybody else. She was a faithful wife for almost 54years. She was a "woman who feared the Lord." {proverbs 31}
Now she is home with her Savior. It's tempting to wish she'd been here for Christmas. To wonder why she didn't see her daughter & mom who were en route that very Thursday. But that is where I rest in the sovereignty of God. Such comfort. He isn't surprised. He knew when her organs would start shutting down. He planned to take her home within 24hours. In fact the very suddenness of it displays His mercy. She didn't suffer for months like most cancer patients. She lost an earthly battle to cancer, but because of the gospel; she won the battle for her soul. I have many things to be grateful for. I'm glad she is home.

but oh how i miss her.
we all miss her.
"As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and
your faithfulness will ever preserve me!"
ps. 40.11 .underlined in her bible.



Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;
all day long an attacker oppresses me.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust;
I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
In the LORD, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
O God; I will render thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God in the light of life.
{from psalm 57}
.please pray for Grandma Elizabeth. (i've called her grandma benjamin before} the cancer is causing alot of pain and making her rather sick. pray that God is her comfort, that He will also comfort Grandpa; that mum and her sister will have wisdom and strength. thank you.


O Come Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.

This is one of my favorite Christmas carols, because the first stanza reminds me of the gospel. I love that word *"ransom". We were all captive slaves to sin until Christ died in our place to set us free. What cause for rejoicing!

*ran·som –n
1.the redemption of a prisoner, slave, or kidnapped person, of captured goods, etc., for a price.
2.the sum or price paid or demanded.
3.a means of deliverance or rescue from punishment for sin, esp. the payment of a redemptive fine. –verb (used with object)
4.to redeem from captivity, bondage, detention, etc., by paying a demanded price.
5.to release or restore on receipt of a ransom.
6.to deliver or redeem from punishment for sin.

{ps. who are the 2007 North NFC champs? oh yeah, green bay...}



credit: rebecca g whilst we were in wales.
I hope that under the circumstances I'll be forgiven this repost. The fact that Christmas is all about the gospel is more precious than ever. So here is my first {hopefully only} repost.

"Can't anybody tell me what Christmas really means?!"
"In the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. The angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" ...The shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." They went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger...[they] returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen."
What an experiance that would have been. Imagine living in Old Testament Israel. Just another night caring for the village sheep. The usual companions, the same stars. Suddenly bright light fills the sky. Unearthly voices pour forth, singing about...the Messiah?! The promised one? He whom your grandparents spoke of? Imagine the shock of hearing that HE had arrived! You'd hardly expected it. After all, this Messiah had been "coming" for how long? Israel has been to Babylon and back. Yet he is real. And in Bethlehem, of all places! Dazed by wonder you follow your friends to town. Their excited chatter is lost in your swirling emotions. The angel's words shattered all your expectations. You never thought he'd come as a baby. You imagined a warrior, raising an army to destroy the Romans. Perhaps a great king, more powerful than Cesar. A hero who would bring fire from heaven to free his people. But a baby? Wonder of wonders... Your shock would be greater 33 years later. A grown man beaten, torn, and bloodied; hardly recognizable. Dying on a cross for your sins. Becoming the final atonement foreshadowed by the old testament sacrifices. Satisfying the Holy God's wrath against sin. And in the same act offering the greatest proof of this same God's mercy . How could you have known that this baby would destroy forever the veil before the "Holy of Holies"?
Linus had it right. "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."



"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him...
For the Lord will not cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men."
Lamentations 3.21-33
You never let go.



I suppose I can't stay in October any longer. December has arrived, and with it the Christmas season. Don't worry, I'm not the grinch! I love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday. But I'm just getting excited about fall. Around here the leaves are finally falling, and it's in the 40s & 50s around 6am. (even if it's 89 at work in the heart of orlando. it's all good). I'll say Christmasy things next week. Anyway the "real" post begins in the next paragraph.

profuse \pruh-FYOOS; proh-\, adj: 1. Pouring forth with fullness or exuberance; giving or given liberally and abundantly; extravagant...
This word captured my attention today. I love the definition because when I read it, I think of Paul. (the bible paul). It describes his attitude of thanks to God so well. How often in his New Testament letters does he break forth into praise? It's as if he is overcome by God's goodness "Thanks be to God!" Paul is profuse when it comes to thanking God.
So today, I looked into the mirror of God's words. As Whitney would say: "Look, here is where you should be. down there is where you are. only don't despair! this is how I will change you to be more like Me.' " I want to be like Paul. I want to express my thankfulness and praise to God like him. At all times, in all situations. To randomly stop what I'm doing and rejoice in the fact that I am REdEEmED! I am not there yet. Not even close. But by the grace of God...maybe my kids will hear their mum glorifying the Lord at all times. In times of joy, times of sorrow, and the mundane everyday. He is so very worthy of praise.

"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 15.



random photos from thansgiving at mum's parents with her sister and fam. be warned, there's nothing artistic.

the kid table
grandpa, bre & nate

grandma with her "scarf"

florida weather

hungry {crazy} sisters
n goofing off, joe, bre, mum

the original thanksgiving folks
grandpa's mug. (see, it's in the genes)

lots of hilarious quotes from this game:"that's unfair! i'm a boy, how am i going to know how to draw mascara!? redraw!" i love my fam. they're hilarious.
i was especially grateful for: 1. grandpa's "new leg". he was free from his wheelchair and able to walk this year. 2. grandma's willingness to have the whole noisy crew over, and cook; depsite having chemo wednesday. i'm so blessed: 3 sets of grandparents. 2 parents. 3 siblings. godly friends in fl, tx, va, nc, new orleans, canada, and wales. God is good.


kept by God

"Thou Creator, Upholder, Proprietor of all things,
I cannot escape from thy presence or control,
nor do I desire to do so.
My privilege is to be under the agency of omnipotence, righteousness,
wisdom, patience, mercy, grace.
Thou art love with more than parental affection...
It is the discovery of thy goodness alone that can banish my fear,
allure me into thy presence,
help me to bewail and confess my sins.
When I review my past guilt and am conscious
of my present unworthiness
I tremble to come to thee, I whose foundation is in the dust,
I who have condemned thy goodness,
defied thy power, trampled upon thy love,
rendered myself worthy of eternal death.
But my recovery cannot spring from any cause in me,
I can destroy but not save myself.
Yet thou hast laid help on One that is mighty,
for there is mercy with thee, exceeding riches in thy kindness through Jesus.
May I always feel my need of Him.
Let thy restored joy be my strength;
May it keep me from lusting after the world,
bear up heart and mind in loss of comforts,
enliven me in the valley of death,
work in me the image of the heavenly..."
{'valley of vision.}
This past week God showed me such kindness. I took advantage of my lack of computer, tv, other distractions; and my lighter work load to spend extended time with Him. I'm ashamed to say this, at first I was afraid I'd be overwhelmed by the sin revealed to me. That I'd be more discouraged then before. Oh the foolishness of me! He was faithful to reveal sin. But even more faithful to show His grace. To call to mind His mercy poured out on the cross. One morning in particular, He inturrupted my prayers and just said "Be still". That hour spent delighting in Him and worshiping His majesty did more good for my soul then the previous 20 minutes of "talk". (PLEASE don't think I'm saying that is an unfruitful practice, in this case it was just not what God wanted me to do). How very kind He is. "I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings".
((when i have thanksgiving photos uploaded i'll probably share some))



Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!
Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.
Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!
~from psalm 66
{i'm housesitting all week, so there will be few if any posts.}


running hard

To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him?
says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?
He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power not one is missing...
Why do you say, O Jacob ..."My way is hidden from the LORD...
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God, Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might
he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary...
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
~Isaiah 40.25-31
I know I've shared this before. But it describes my current season of waiting on God so well. There are temptations to be weary. Temptations for my heart to wonder or wander. But by His grace, my heart is stayed on Him. I want to use this time of rest to draw ever nearer. He's shown me that part of the "why" is preparation. It's a time to lay sure foundations of drawing from Him that will serve me when the tempest comes. Oh how kind He is! I have nothing better to do than delight in my Savior. Then, indeed can I run hard after Him.
"The joy of the Lord is my strength"!


"out of the wellspring of the heart the mouth speaks"

A few days ago, I saw a glimpse into my heart. I was shocked. My words revealed a part of me that did NOT say "whatever my God ordains is right."

I was praying for a certain circumstance. As I prayed Romans 8.28 I couldn't believe what words came out: "God, may this be for our sooner good." Oh how easily sin hides! I'm ashamed to admit I'd think that. While I was praying, no less! The words themselves are not sinful, but what they reveal about my heart. I know my sin shouldn't surprise me. Too often it does. It hides itself well, and I'm too willing to let it stay hidden. God is not. Nor is He shocked. He knows what I'm capable of--even more than I do. Yet He willingly forgives. He sent His Son to take my just punishment. Fully knowing every sin I'd ever commit...What relieving freedom! Freedom that lessens the gravity of sin? By no means! Nor does it hinder sorrow over my sin. It provides a freedom to receive grace. Mine is a salvation based not on what I do, but on what Christ DiD. Anyway I ought to quite rambling and just let Paul speak for me:

"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested
apart from the law,
although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—
the righteousness of God
through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
For there is no distinction:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and are justified by his grace as a gift,
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood,
to be received by faith.
This was to show God’s righteousness, because
in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins."
Rom 3.21-25

{{I share this so ya'll will know my heart needs constant watch. Yes, I can say I trust God, that overall I'm content with what He ordains. It is true. (only as He's done that work) But I still don't always win the everyday battles. I'm thankful He exposes my heart. Stands ready to forgive. And to supply grace for next time. It is far more than I deserve!}}


objective truth from...starbucks?

Last week I swung through Starbucks en route to the doctor. I can't say much for the state of my heart...I certainly wasn't viewing doctors as a means of grace. The barista must have seen "sin of ungratefulness" emanating from me. I think she said "would you like some conviction with that?" Anyway, later as I sat in the room of perpetual anticipation I read the following:
"The Way I See It #196
The greatest leader is a servant. Don't be a boss.
Be a real leader, a servant leader.
A servant leader is a winner. Even when he loses everything, even when he loses his life, a servant leader wins it all. --Pat Williams "
Even though it doesn't say "Christ died for sinners" it immediately brought the gospel to mind. I was convicted in my non-rejoicing attitude. Doctors are a gift. An undeserved one. How kind of Him to interrupt my little grumbling fest, and in such a lighthearted way. I laughed. God is so kind. Who says He doesn't have a sense of humour?

{{ps. ya'll will be delighted to know that green bay is 6-1. we're not underdogs this year! yeah baby. i watch them play with real hope, instead of pleading for a swift death. proof that God cares about such menial things as football?}}


whatever my God ordains is right

Whatever my God ordains is right
In His love I am abiding
I will be still in all He does
And follow where He is guiding
He is my God, though dark my road
He holds me that I shall not fall
And so to Him I leave it all

Whatever my God ordains is right
He never will deceive me
He leads me by the proper path
I know He will not leave me
I take content, what He has sent
His hand can turn my griefs away
And patiently I wait His day

Whatever my God ordains is right
Here shall my stand be taken
Though sorrow, or need, or death be mine
Yet I am not forsaken
My Father's care, encircles me there
He holds me that I shall not fall
And so to Him I leave it all

Whatever my God ordains is right
Though now this cup I'm drinking
Bitter it seems to my faint heart
I take it all unshrinking
My God is true, each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart
And pain and sorrow shall depart
{{original words by samuel rodigast 1676.
translated by catherine winkworth 1863.
alternate words by mark altrogge 2007

this song has become very dear to me recently. I've found it helpful in my daily battles to keep the contentment, trust and surrendered-ness that God's worked in me. there is so much room for growth. in all of these areas {and more}. YET I am grateful that God allows to me to see what fruit He has already wrought. I am still more grateful for His sovereignty---which is the constant source of peace; which allows my heart to rest. no matter how long this season of waiting may be. nor how weary i may grow. He is always in control. His timing does not fail to be perfect.



Wednesday afternoon, Dixiana Hanks {grandmother to beks} went home.
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." {rev.21.}
I wish I had words so I could honor her for a life well lived to the glory of God. I had the honour of spending 2 weeks out of many childhood summers in her house with Beks, and I will never forget her kindness and generosity...but I don't have any words. It just doesn't seem real.
I am ever so thankful for the gospel. Because of the gospel I'm not sad for Grammie. I know she is resting in her Savior's loving hands; and that one day her family will see her again. I'm grateful her family has this hope...but it doesn't keep us from missing her.
Please keep the Schwab fam in your prayers, as well as "GP" (her husband) and Taunte Lisa (her daughter).


jane austen*

Nothing will come out right. So. To make up for the last post's 2wk existence (!) I thought I'd post something fun. Hmm. What's one thing that me and all 4 of my faithful readers {the kars, als, beks} enjoi?
Pride & Prejudice. Jane Austen. Even if we disagree on which film is better, the book is best. So in honor of my fellow Elizabeths, and other Bennet girls; some quotes:

Bingley: "Come Darcy, I must have you dance. I cannot bear to see you standing about in this stupid manner..."
Darcy: "You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room."
"There is one of her sisters...who is very pretty."
"She is tolerable, but not handsome to tempt me. I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men."

Jane: He is just what a young man ought to be: sensible, good-humoured, lively..."
Elizabeth: "He is also handsome, which a young man ought to be, if he possibly can...he certainly is very agreeable, and I give you leave to like him. You've liked many a stupider person."

Mr Bennet: "An unhappy alternative is before you Elizabeth. From this day forward you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and I shall never see you again if you do."

Elizabeth: "Shelves in the closet!? Happy thought indeed..."

Darcy: "And this is all the reply I am to expect? I might wish to be informed why, with so little endeavour at civility, I am thus rejected."
Elizabeth: "And I might inquire why with so evident a design of offending me you chose to tell me that you liked me against your will, against your reason, and even against your character? Is this not just cause for incivility, if indeed I was uncivil?"...
Darcy: "Disguise of every sort is my abhorrence. Nor am I ashamed of the feelings I related. They were natural and just..."
Elizabeth: "You are mistaken if you suppose the manner of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared the concern I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner."

Jane: "You are joking Lizzie! engaged to Mr Darcy! ... I know how much you dislike him."
Elizabeth: "That is all to be forgot. Perhaps I did not always love him so well as I do now. But in such cases as these a good memory is unpardonable..."
Jane: "Are you quite sure that you feel what you ought to?"
Lizzie: "You will only think I feel more than I ought to, when I tell you...I must confess I love him better than I do Bingely. I fear you will be angry."
Jane: "My dearest sister, now be serious... Will you tell me how long you have loved him?"
Lizzie:"I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberly."

*much of the fun is lost out of context. it reads very different, eh?


cast. your cares.

Jesus, I'm frail, I'm so very weak
My faithfulness fails, my courage will flee
But You are my rock, my shelter and shade
When I'm burdened down, You'll carry the weight

So I will cast my cares on You
Yes, I will cast my cares on You
I will rest within Your arms
Knowing I am safe from harm
I will cast my cares on You

When I'm overwhelmed and I cannot stand
You hear every cry and You lift my head
I'm desperate for grace and mercy anew
I must have Your strength, Oh I must have You

c. stephen altrogge from in a little while

This song (i know i say that alot but my life changes alot) says exactly what God has been teaching my fam. It's far better written, but the essence is the same as what I just recently wrote in my journal. How kind of God to thus encourage me-confirming He is at work. My pride wants to say the second line doesn't apply to me. Oh, but it does. Very much so. How often my faithfulness fails! Every single day, there is an area I'm trying to "un-surrender", something I'm not trusting God with, something I'm making an idol...yet. His faithfulness is steadfast. He is faithfulness. Faithful to correct, faithful to forgive, faithful to never give more than we can bear. I cling to His promises. First the promise of His gospel. Then the promise of His unchangingness. Amazing truth!


oh happy day

post script:

even as i type, my fam is slumbering peacefully in a hotel on the south carolina/georgia line. tommorrow when i come home from work, i won't let myself into a quiet little house. i'm looking forward to a ginormous mess and more noise than i remember. plus a red maple leaf the kids brought home for me, so i can pretend to have a real fall.

"happy thought indeed!"

(thus end the missing-my-fam posts. sigh of relief from my few faithful readers.)


{Isaiah 43]

"But now thus says the LORD,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel
'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name,
you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
I am the LORD your God...
Because you are precious in my eyes...
and I love you...
'You are my witnesses,' declares the LORD,
'and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me...
I declared and saved and proclaimed...
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.' "

(the most glorious promise of all, the one that makes all others possible:)

"I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins."

*please keep the james family in your prayers as mrs james battles cancer. please continue to pray for ian murphy and the haughery family.*


a letter to the best siblings in the world:

(they posed. after a long day of getting lost in downtown baltimore)

(photocredit: mum.)
Hi kids.
41 days. And counting. I'm homesick. Technically, as I am the one home; I think it's familysick. That sounds weird...anyway. Thank you Mum, Joe, Bre, and N for serving by going to upstate New York and taking care of great-grandma. Thanks for remembering your dad and "biglittlesister" that you left behind. We enjoyed the box of goodies. Enjoy the smell of fall in the air for me. And the sight of mountains. Say hi to the boys when you visit Aunt Lori. Bre: Don't bring home any snakes. There's a big fat one living in the garage sink drain and some small black racers in the hydrangeas. That should be plenty. Joe: Keep your chin up! "Cheerio, and all that sort". N: Keep everybody else laughing, 'k? I love ya'll. Dad and I aren't lonely. But we are sick of peaceful dinners. {{ps. i know the photos stink but they're the easiest to find.}}
~Kangeroo. psalm 27.
"August evenings bring subtle warnings to remember
to kiss the ones you love goodbye
you never know what temporal days may bring...
when my life is in discord I'll praise You all the more"



..."The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified..."
Isaiah 60.19-21

{{you really need the context of previous chapters. the verses become even more amazing.}}


for matthew.

While canoeing with the Peines Saturday, the following conversation ensued between 6 yr old (?) Mathew and I:
"You could put this picture on your blog and tie it into God."
"How would I tie it in?"
"You could say how God is bigger, stronger than an alligator..."

I don't have time to actually write today; so instead I'll post a portion of the psalm I read yesterday. The whole psalm is beautiful but longish for here.

"O LORD, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the sea, great and wide,
which teems with creatures innumerable,
living things both small and great.
There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.
These all look to you, to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works,
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke!
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more!
Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD!"
{psalm 104.24-35}


amazing grace

O thou Giving God,

My heart is drawn out in thankfulness to thee,
for thy amazing grace and condescension to me
in influences and assistances of thy Spirit,
for special help in prayer,
for sweetness of Christian service,
for the thoughts of arriving in heaven,
for always sending me needful supplies,
for raising me to new life when I am like one dead.

I want not the favour of man to lean upon
for they favour is infinitely better.
Thou art eternal wisdom in dispensations towards me;
and it matters not when, nor where,
nor how I serve thee,
nor what trials I am exercised with,
if I might but be prepared for they work and will.

No poor creature stands in need of divine grace
more than I do,
And yet none abuses it more than I have done,
and still do.
How heartless and dull am I!
Humble me in the dust for not loving thee more.
Every time I exercise any grace renewedly
I am renewedly indebted to thee,
the God of all grace,
for special assistance.

I cannot boast when I think how dependent
I am upon thee for the being and every act of grace;
I never do anything else but depart from thee,
and if I ever get to heaven
it will be because thou willest it,
and for no reason beside.

I love, as a feeble, afflicted, despised creature,
to cast myself on they infinite grace and goodness,
hoping for no happiness but from thee;
Give me special grace to fit me
for special services,
and keep me calm and resigned at all times,
humble, solemn, mortified,
and conformed to thy will.

((valley of vision; emphasis mine))



It was Your grace that drew me to the cross
It was Your grace that gave me faith
It was Your grace that reconciled me to Yourself
Though I had sinned in every way
You disarmed me of everything that I would lean on
So I would lean on You
And you stripped me of everything I would depend on
So I'd depend on You
In You alone, my strength is found
In You alone, my hope abounds
In You alone, my strength is found
My life is bound up in You

And in my weakness give me still more grace
Grace to cast myself on You
In every trial let me find Your peace and joy
And grace to humbly walk with You
O disarm me of everything I would lean on....
Jesus strip me of everything I would depend on...
Give me more grace...and new mercies every morning...

This is becoming the theme song of my life. It started a few years ago, with circumstances I didn't like. I wanted them to change. I thought no good could possibly come of them. I was more concerned with my comfort level than with what God was doing in me. At the time, it looked so pointless. I'm still mostly clueless. But I'm starting to see--no, He's showing me--a tiny corner of this bigger picture. Why He allowed things to continue when I thought they were more than I could bear. That was the whole point! I wasn't supposed to bear it. I was supposed to come to Him. He brought me to a point of realization. A realization of my absolute dependence. On Him. I could't last one day without His glorious, free, amazing, oh so undeserved GRACE. I desperately needed to be stripped of every foundation that was not HIM. He thoroughly dismantled every area of life I had "under control". Everything I thought stable, He showed to be shakeable. He is so kind. So gentle when we are broken. So fierce when we are stubborn. Never letting us "get away" with our sin. What foolish independence in my sinful heart!! There are still so many ways I need to grow in reliance. But He's faithful. His grace always breaks through my self-sufficiency and condemnation. How glorious is truth...
Thus ends my little outburst of joy that for some reason I decided to post.



"When we are in fear we can do nothing less than pray, but our Lord has a right to expect that those who name His Name should have an understanding confidence in Him. God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in any crises they are the reliable ones. Our trust is in God up to a certain point, then we go back to the elementary panic prayers of those who do not know God. We get to our wit's end, showing that we have not the slightest confidence in Him and His government of the world; He seems to be asleep, and we see nothing but breakers ahead. "O ye of little faith!" What a pang must have shot through the disciples--"Missed it again!" And what a pang will go through us when we suddenly realize that we might have produced downright joy in the heart of Jesus by remaining absolutely confident in Him, no matter what was ahead. There are stages in life when there is no storm, no crises, when we do our human best; it is when a crisis arises that we instantly reveal upon whom we rely. If we have been learning to worship God and to trust Him, the crisis will reveal that we will go to the breaking point and not break in our confidence in Him..." ~Oswald Chambers
I had a phone call from mum monday night. She said she was calling to give me the update on Grandma's doctor visit. I knew something was wrong, but I thought it was something like the CEA counts jumped high or white blood cells were too low. The thought that the cancer had spread never entered my mind. Ever since then, I've been fighting those "elementary panic prayers". But the fact remains that CHRIST DIED FOR SINNERS. Grandma's greatest need has been met. He is faithful. Our reprieve is most definitely over. But who's to say that He won't bring another one? Even if He doesn't, it does not change the truth of His goodness.
The main point of this post is to request your prayers. Please pray that the chemo is effective in eradicating the cancer that is now in 3 of Grandma's vertebrae. Also, please lift up my mum. She's in upstate NY with the kids taking care of her grandma. I know it's hard on her to be away from her mom when she feels like she's needed most. Pray that my grandparents would be able to rest in the everlasting arms of their Savior. Thanks.
"How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord..."


the return

{far more gorgeous than the photos show.}
{j outside the church with tea.}

{the j's. my fantabulous host fam}
Joe and I are home. We were welcomed by warm, steamy, fl rain. How appropiate.
The whole team is back, without any "international incidents." Some are sick and A's foot is still healing, but we'd do it again in a heartbeat. The church in Merthyr is amazing. I was affected by them in so many ways. Cheesy as it sounds, I have to admit I fell in love with the entire church of 90. (how's that for an un-dams statement) My host fam, the J's, were especially precious. They displayed such humility, service, generosity, and hospitality. All with spectacular accents, of course. ;)

Aside from seeing my wonderful family, I'm struggling with jumping back into life. Culture shock hits most when you're home. Everything is strange. The cars are huge, the roads are wide, the land is unbelievably flat, we drive on the wrong side, billboards are everywhere, there's ice in my drink, I think it's 5hrs later than it is... Seriously, America in general feels very superficial. I'm struggling to adjust. Partly because I don't want to. I don't really want to interact with the world. I need His grace. Anyway I'm rambling. A quick-jet-lagged-and-still-recovering update. More to come. I'll figure out the best way to show you photos. All 655 won't fit on here.
The post beneath is of my fam, since my "welsh family" wanted to see them.

Relying on grace.



4 days.
Joe and I depart for London Gatwick Airport Thursday afternoon and arrive 8am Friday morning. A few hours later we end up in Wales. Where we will be with our host fams until July 23. It hasn't quite sunk in...it doesn't seem real that we're actually flying across the Atlantic ocean...to the UK...wow!!! (maybe it's not that big of a deal. as one prone to wanderlust, it is pretty amazing.)
We're helping the church with their "Family Fun Day in the Park". {And going to a pub. yes i could order a 'pint'; but i won't. we don't know what would happen ;)}
If you think about it: Pray that we share the gospel most effectively. Pray for the lost in Wales, that God would soften their hearts. Pray that God would encourage His church there. And please pray that most of all, He would be glorified and we would proclaim that most wonderful of stories before and after our trip; that'd we view life as a mission field.
Thanks ya'll. (my faithful readers: beks, als, & mrs w.)

I'll try and take some photos. I'm sure one or two will end up here...as for whatever God has planned for my heart; that usually takes some time to realize.

(apologies for the hurried writing and therefore atrocious wordage).


please pray

please, please lift up the haughery family in your prayers.

little alivia went home yesterday afternoon. it would seem the lymphoma was victorious. but we know otherwise--she is being held in the arms of her Savior.


independance day

{the 1st photo isn't spectacular, but it's one of the most wonderful pieces of paper ever written. the 2nd is kids playing soccer on the mall in DC. --captain obvious.}

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
~francis scott key. c.1814~

Here's my annual "I'm glad to be American" post.
Because our national anthem is the coolest. *haha.
No really. I won't claim that America is perfect or "christian." But I do think we had a stellar beginning. Our constitution & bill of rights are incredible. Yes, I'm cheesy and patriotic and I love my country. (now you canadians can enjoi your own patriotism in being glad NOT to be american.)


as promised.

I said I'd share some of what God did in my heart at NA. Specifics. I'm going to pull from my journal so we'll see if it makes sense. Here goes.
If I had to pick one word to describe what God did at NA, it'd be renew. Or refresh. (adjectives. I can’t use just one.) It began on the ride up. Jill, Heather and I took turns reading scripture out loud. We all chose very different passages yet their common theme was grace. This really impacted me. I'd been struggling with condemnation for awhile. I prayed. And prayed...but it seemed like a losing battle...When we walked into worship that night there was a word on the screen. GRACE. During worship, God came. He washed away the condemnation. How much sweeter does grace seem when you feel the weight of your sin! It is always precious, but my perspective is so often skewed…He reminded me afresh of the blood of His Son. That amazing transaction by which all my debt was paid. Forever. I was so freshly aware of my undeservingness. But in a new way...my condemnation was aware in an introspective, prideful way. This was awareness with joy. “Oh God I cannot thank you enough!!" Amazement at His glorious gospel...It set the tone for the rest of the conference. That, and the "uplifting of my head" sunday night. (bob kauflin's "should remain in silence" spontaneous song.) With a burden removed, I could receive conviction. Before I'd grown weary and discouraged. Now I was ready to continue the fight. But only by His strength. I am supposed to be weak. Dependant on Him. It is then, in my utter helplessness, that He's glorified. With His help, I can defeat sin. Without it, I only fool myself. He took my eyes off my circumstances to see Jesus, “the author and perfecter of my faith”.

When You lead me to the valley of vision
I can see You in the heights
And though my humbling wouldn't be my decision
It’s here Your glory shines so bright
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown
To be low is to be high
That the valley’s where You make me more like Christ

Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your wealth in my need
That You’re near with every breath
In the valley

In the daytime there are stars in the heavens
But they only shine at night
And the deeper that I go into darkness
The more I see their radiant light
So let me learn that my losses are my gain
To be broken is to heal
That the valley’s where Your power is revealed.
{in the valley, sgm music}
O Lord, this is my heart's cry. May I learn to trust you more and more, to rely on Your grace. It is always enough...


isaiah 45.

"I have blotted our your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like a mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. Sing O heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, O depths of the earth...For the Lord has redeemed Jacob and will be glorified in Israel!"

The wondrous gift of salvation. It is not based on any merit we think we have, it is all by the work of Jesus on the cross. It is not nullified by our daily sins, they are covered by the blood of Christ. He is not surprised when we fail to bring Him glory. We are, because we do not fully understand how truly depraved our hearts are. Neither do we fully understand His Holiness--or we would continually be on our faces. But He understands. Completely. Yet still loves. Still chooses. Still pours out more, more, and more grace.
I need this grace. Desperately.



((photocredit: for the first time i succumbed to using a web photo))
Three (3) weeks. Four (4) days. Five thousand, two hundred and thirty (5, 000) miles between Fl and Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. (!!) As I pray for Beks and the others in Haiti, my thoughts wander to my own trip. Because many of the other trips take place before or during Wales, my preparation has had an "eventually" mentality to it. Until today. I received our flight itinerary...and proved that I DO possess some amounts of girliness. (as my bros said: "when boys get excited, they smile. when girls get excited, they think everybody else wants to join in." haha.)
It's finally starting to sink in. I'm actually going to Wales. July 12-23. With about 18 other Floridians. For 11 days. We'll be staying in welsh houses, eating welsh food, trying to understand welsh accents, serving the welsh, and {hopefully} maybe even learning a little welsh. What's the point? Ultimately, to glorify God and spread His glorious gospel. Practically...to help our sister church their  put on a "Family Fun Fair"-type outreach. (memories, anyone?) Now you know almost as much as I do...I know it'll be nothing like my imaginings. I can't wait to see what God does. Anything He does for/through us is amazing in light of what we deserve. May we always be a living proclamation of the gospel--no matter where He puts us.

*regular programming will now continue...*
{als, i didn't forget your request for a wales post. here it is}


precious words

"O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold,
O LORD you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me, your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,"
even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written,
every one of them, the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there were none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!"

{from psalm 139}


books. or a post in the old form.

December 11, 1939
"A conversation with the doctor. We always come back to the same point: 'The church may not mix in politics', he says. And I tell him that when you are a Christian and profess that God is almighty, there is no single area of life from which you can eliminate God." --from the journal of Diet Eman
Over the weekend, I indulged my love for good books with "Things We Couldn't Say". It's the semi-autobiography of Dutch student-turned-resistance-worker Diet Eman. The above quote comes from the context of how to respond to the German Occupation. When Germans started to persecute the Jews, Christians were very divided about forming a RResistance Many believed that they were subject to the Germans as a higher authority God had placed over them, and therefore "resistance aagainstthe established government was, quite simply, sin". Just to put that quote into context for you... Anyway, it's an excellent book. Her transparency is convicting, and the circumstances of her life forced mine into perspective. (any hardship in my life is mminuscule) There's my update. Borrow this book from your library (good luck finding it) or buy it at Border's (it is so blatantly NOT leftist-communist-crap i doubt you'll find it there either) or do what I did: borrow it from an employer who shares your love of solid WWII era history.

((this'll be the last you here from me until after conference. i'm working all the way up to friday morning & leave that afternoon. however, since beks has abandoned the caravan, mayhaps she will guest post for me?))


mothers day.

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels…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 blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all… a women who fears the Lord is to be praised.” {prov. 31}

Mom, thank you for all you’ve sown into my life. For raising me in a gospel-centered home. For becoming my best friend. For always being there to listen, for sharing long talks until 1AM. Thank you for never letting me continue in sin, but continually preaching the gospel. Thank you for all the laughter and our ‘dumb & dumber’ adventures. For taking my mistakes in stride-like when the route I choose on the atlas doesn't say the roads go ever deeper into ghetto Baltimore. (and for being honest with your own:"you said ft mchenry was in Annapolis!!").
Thank you for showing me how to have glorify God in uncertainty. With everything that's happened over the past 5 years, I am amazed at your steadfast trust in God. You're strong in the strength of His grace. In knowing your own weakness, you've been a living explanation of 2 Cor. 9-10. I would never have known exactly what Paul was talking about if not for you.
But thank you most of all for how you live your life. For being a godly wife and mum. I want to be like you when I grow up. (i just don't want to wait quite as long as you did. haha)


"O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. ... When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,... O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" .from psalm 8.


quotes from chambers

" 'Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth.' How petty our complaining is! Our Lord begins to bring us into the place where we can have communion with Him, and we groan and say 'O Lord, let me be like other people!' Jesus is asking us to take one end of the yoke--'My yoke is easy, get alongside Me and we will pull together.' Are you identified with the Lord Jesus like that? IF so, you will thank Him for the pressure of His hand.
'To them that have no might He increaseth strength.' God comes and takes us out of our sentimentality, and our complaining turns into a paean of praise. The only way to know the strength of God is to take the yoke of Jesus upon us and learn of Him.
'The joy of the Lord is your strength.' Where do the saints get their joy from? If we did not know some saints, we would say 'Oh, he or she has nothing to bear.' Lift the veil. The fact that the peace and the light and the joy of God are there is proof that the burden is there too. The burden God places squeezes the grapes and out comes the wine; most of us see the wine only. No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God in a human spirit, it is an utter unconquerableness.
If you have the whine in you, kick it out ruthlessly. It is a positive crime to be weak in God's strength."
~Oswald Chambers

{spring is postively gorgeous up here. loving it.}



{photocredit: beks. location: NC}
My fam is enjoying the coolness of VA. Mum & the kids drove up Tues, I took dad to the airport this morning; tomorrow I'll join them. Virginia is on my top ten favorite places list. It might rank higher than Vancouver...since I don't want to live there. I don't come home with heart issues.
Besides my fam, there's a lot to look forward to. Cool morning runs with Cassie [the dog]. Lots of time for writing and reading. I'm hoping to catch up on some Tolkien and Elliot. No work. Hills. Excursions to explore unknown places. Seeing Uncle Hal Aunt Lori & the boys when they come back from Europe. So that is my life for the next 9 days.
The past (1)9 days it's been this: work, sanctification, bridesmaid wedding prep, sanctification. God is doing alot of work right now...it's a little overwhelming.

"With the rising sun, we can start over again. With each new dawn, I promise you my friend, His grace is new again. Every day His grace is new with the rising sun..."


psalm 18

I love you, O Lord, my strength...my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me. From his temple he heard my voice...
Then the earth reeled and rocked; because he was angry. Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him. He bowed the heavens and came down...He made darkness his covering... Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds...And he sent out his arrows and scattered them; he flashed forth lightnings and routed them. Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O Lord...

He drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy... for they were too mighty for me. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands... For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down. For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God--his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true...God who...made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your gentleness made me great.
((selections from psalm 18))



"Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham..."
Micah 7.18-20

"Our greatest need has been met in Christ Jesus. We have been saved from our sin...and all our other 'needs' are miniscule in comparison!" -Mrs. Beloat



The author of this blog offers this small apology for the stale content. As of late, her computer has been...uncooperative shall we say? It was not her intent to leave a not-so-much-God-glorifying-fluff post up for so long. She would like to offer compensation, but a pending trip to Wales is absorbing all extra funds. :) Hopefully the resident tech genius will fix the problem and somewhat regular posting will resume.

Thanks. Keep pressing on toward the prize ya'll.

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of your time, because the days are evil..." Eph. 5.15-16


"In the Bible God is saying, 'You won't always understand me, but you can always trust me. If I surprise you with trouble, I will also surprise you with the joy I'll bring out of that trouble. You may struggle to believe that right now. But what seems so impossible is the very thing I specialize in.'.."
"The victory will be God's and the delight will be ours. Right now we don't always treat God as a loyal ally. But He will be faithful still. When our hearts are finally and forever drawn away from all false saviours and are endlessly celebrating his all-sufficiency, we will know His name."
~Ray Ortlund Jr.
Some quotes that convicted me today. Currently studying Isaiah. The common theme is trust. Trusting God completely, surrendering all. Funny. That seems to be the theme of my circumstances right now too...
{psalm. 18:1-3}


good evening.

Beks. "your face is funny. "
Dams."yeah well not as funny as your knee!"

"did you just mess up my life!?"

"if this is from one bite of ice cream, i'd love to give her a 20oz mountain dew and stick her in a contained field...."

"you're a pig. oink oink."

Steph. "i made chili come out of mike's nose today."
she has that effect on folks...

Matt. "So basically, a case of the mondays includes potty training a 2 year old and migraines?"
Dams. "yup, that's pretty much it..."

Mike. "okay, that was wierd"

*dams enters the vicinity, carrying ice cream*
Matt. "ICE CREAM! oh, hey dams..."

a collection of out-of-context quotes. from a pleasant evening spent with friends near and far, on the occasion of matt 'home' from school for a visit. God is good.



(last photo by beks)

Children. They're such living examples of God's goodness, are they not? That He would choose to create humans so as to start life so small and precious...
They're incredibly creative. I love their crazy logic. Their nonsensical thought process. Sometimes trying to figure out how to answer thier question is difficult, as you can't figure out exactly what they're asking you about. It's like walking through your best friend's house in the dark. It's familiar and you know it; but you're thrown off because you're so used to "seeing" it. (i'm not making sense. forget the poor analogy.)
Kids display God's patience in growing us "big people". Haha. How often when dealing with their sin do I find my own is just as involved in the problem! I'm amazed at how my attitude is reflected in their behavior. Days when I come to work not relying on His grace? Those are the days I wonder how much sleep they got...disruptions and delights fall on both days, but when I am full of His joy; the roughest day can run smooth.
I feel so blessed to have kids a part of my job. I've come to love both "my familes" dearly. I think they teach me more than I teach them...we'll see if I remember any of it when I have my 5. or 6. ;)
"Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God." luke 18.16
{my apologies for ripping that verse out of context,but i think we all know background}