All Down Through the Ages

Beware: this blog entry has no pictures! Kathy went to bed early without blogging, and so, like an eel, I slither into the vacuum she left. Unfortunately, I have no pictures to share. You have been warned. :)

About ten days ago I wrote a post (Gotta Tell Somebody) about the powerful and touching Bible stories told in song by Don Francisco, a Christian musician I enjoyed in the 70′s and 80′s. I promised that I would post a review of Too Small a Price (another of Francisco’s songs), but I’ve changed my mind, and that will have to wait.

Yesterday, as we prepared the house for the Small Group Bible Study that often meets at our house, there was a moment of uncharacteristic silence, and I noticed that there was no music playing. This is pretty unusual for us, especially on Sundays when we do much of our cleaning — Kathy and I love to have Christian music to lift the spirits of any who are discouraged.

Because my wife is such a variety chick, we try to have a lot of music available — Kathy doesn’t like to listen to any one song or album too much. I tend to fixate on a small group of favorite songs, and it is not uncommon for me to listen to a single album (on shuffle repeat) for a whole day. Whenever there is no music playing, whoever notices it first gets to choose what we listen to (at least for a while), and so I quickly fired up Media Player on my computer and launched one of my favorite Don Francisco songs.

When the song was over, David (who was quietly playing a computer game in the kitchen) piped up:

“I like that song better than Blessed Be Your Name.”

This is nearly an heretical statement in our family, because that song (I first heard it recorded by Tree 63) had a huge impact on me, as partially discussed in this post from 2005. My children know that it is my favorite song, and several of them share that preference (or pretend to, hoping I’ll share my ice cream with them).

But it is true that this song is my favorite of the Don Francisco songs. I have a lot of favorites. This one is a particularly pretty and poignant song about God’s love for us ‘all down through the ages’ and His desire to be reunited with us, in spite of our sin and our rejection of Him. Please click on the Audio MP3 link below … I hope you enjoy it.

Adam, Where Are You?

Unashamed and naked in a garden that has never seen the rain,
Rulers of a kingdom, full of joy — never marred by any pain,
The morning all around them seems to celebrate the life they’ve just begun;
And in the majesty of innocence the king and queen come walking in the sun

But the master of deception now begins with his dissection of the Word
And with all of his craft and subtlety the serpent twists the simple truths they’ve heard,
While hanging in the balance is a world that has been placed at their command
And all their unborn children die as both of them bow down to Satan’s hand.

And just before the evening in the cool of the day, They hear the voice of God as He is walking
And they can’t abide His presence, so they try to hide away;
But still they hear the sound as He is calling:

“Adam, Adam, where are you?
Adam, Adam, where are you?
Adam, Adam, where are you?”

In the stifling heat of summer now the gardener and his wife are in the field
And it seems that thorns and thistles are the only crop his struggles ever yield
He eats his meals in sorrow ’til he sinks into the dust whence he came
But all down through the ages he can hear his Maker calling out his name.

“Adam, Adam, where are you?
Adam, Adam, where are you?”

And though the curse has long been broken
Adams’ sons are still the prisoners of their fears
Rushing helter-skelter to destruction with their fingers in their ears
While the Fathers voice is calling with an urgency I’ve never heard before
“Won’t you come in from the darkness now, before it’s time to finally close the door?”

“Adam, Adam, where are you?
Adam, Adam, where are you?
Adam, Adam, I love you!”

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Daughters of My Heart

The Lord has generously blessed me with two precious daughters. Rachel, my oldest daughter, was born in the wee hours of the morning, during one of the coldest snowstorms we have ever known. Sarah, my youngest, was born in the heat of the summer, on my birthday; tying her to my heart in a unique and memorable way and vividly illustrating for me that all five of my children are gifts from God.

Getting our pumpkins 02

October 2002 — Pumpkin Patch

I want so many things for my daughters, yet in the midst of those hopes and dreams, I find surprising contradictions.

I hunger for them to love the Lord with passion and intensity so they will go wherever He calls them, and serve Him fully. At the same time, my heart trembles at the thought of ministry taking them into danger far from home.

I long for them to know, with absolute certainty, that their worth comes from the Lord and His love, not from the world or anything external (beauty, wealth, power, popularity). But I also want them to be beautiful, well-liked and full of confidence.

texas vacation august 03

August 2003 – Texas Vacation

I envision the courageous, independent women they will become, unafraid of the challenges and responsibilities of life. Yet I still want them to need ME; to remain my little girls, looking to their mother for guidance and instruction.

I pray earnestly that they will find soul-mates, worthy of their love and respect, with whom they can sculpt a godly marriage. And yet, when I close my eyes and see them vulnerably entrusting their hearts and bodies to a stranger, I gasp in fear and dismay, wanting only to hold them close.

christmas 04

Christmas 2004

I hope they will have children and pour their hearts into raising and caring for those little ones, knowing the sacred calling it is to be a mother. I also want them to conquer the world; be doctors, scientists, explorers, letting nothing prevent them from following their dreams.

I want them to pursue their education with commitment, discipline and intensity, discovering their passions and developing a true love for learning. At the same time, I fear ungodly influences of higher education, voices chipping away at their faith.

dec 05

December 2005

I yearn for us to be close friends, or, as Anne of Green Gables would say, kindred spirits, sharing hobbies and interests in an easy, comfortable fellowship. That said, I want them to develop their own gifts and pursuits, blossoming into the creative women God designed them to be.

What a terrible jumble of hopes, dreams and fears! Did my parents seek all these things for me? Do all parents face this push and pull of holding tight and letting go?

Time doesn’t slow down for a mother’s conflicting dreams. No matter how much I secretly want to keep the girls here under my protective wing, life pushes them slowly onward until they will surely fly.

And fly they will. I can choose: do I want to have a part in the path in which they will fly, the direction they will take, the people with whom they will fly? Or do I want to shut my eyes tight to their maturing and growth?

dec 06

December 2006

Mount up on wings like eagles, my girls, and soar! May the Lord equip me to build in you strength, character and a listening ear, able to hear His still soft voice. I ask that He quiet my fears, gently gathering all the good in my hopes for you, and breathe His vision and spirit into your lives.

He will help me let you go.

jan 07

January 2007

…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Jeremiah 40:31)


This post is my entry for the Mothers and Daughters Blog Carnival, hosted on Sing For Him. Visit her site on Monday, to enjoy other posts on this theme.

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Virtual Camping

In spite of two fairly recent camping posts (Enemies in the Gate and We’re Campers!), we really don’t camp much as a family. We do, however, love to shop.

Directions are for sissies
Unlike his father, Joshua sometimes does read directions.

A week ago Kathy and I snuck away with the two youngest children to do a little back-to-school shopping (David and I both scored some fresh boxers, so the trip wasn’t a total loss). While wandering the sports equipment aisle, I came upon this snazzy Eddie Bauer tent marked down to half its list price.

The mists of time close in around me as visions of the Father/Son Camping Trip swim before my eyes. David’s foot in my face, Joshua’s elbow in my side. Daniel squashed up against the side of the tent but vainly trying to steal my cushy air mattress. It was, shall we say, a little snug. And that was without any of the girls joining us (as if we have any hope of luring Kathy to the Great Outdoors)! I shake my head, and the mists of time clear; I find myself standing bemusedly in the checkout line with a two-room tent in my cart!

Truth be told, I never can resist a bargain — I just can’t seem pass those sad little red clearance tags by! I chortled all the way home, as David and Sarah wrangled over who got to show it to Joshua.

Sarah Supervises
I don’t know what Joshua would have done, without Sarah’s leadership and confidence.

As is the case with many impulse shoppers, I fall into the ‘buy first, justify later‘ school of thought on this and a few other kinds of purchases. So when I got home with the tent, I jumped online and made a reservation for a Forest Service campground near Mount Rainier. I craftily told the kids my intentions before Kathy had a chance to object.

These poles can be tricky ...
Having extra poles when you’re finished is often a warning sign that something is wrong.

Before we can go camping, though, we need to put the tent through its paces. It would be a crying shame if we got to our campsite and discovered the tent had no roof panels, no stakes had been provided, or that the poles didn’t fit together (I speak hypothetically, of course). So Kathy and I generously permitted Joshua to set up the tent, with assistance from some of the other minions. (Naturally, we traded on his enthusiasm and made him mow the lawn, first, as would any prudent parent.)

Enjoying the fruits of Joshua's labor
Once the tent was fully erected, the virtual campers assembled.

As we surveyed the assembled tent and its convenient proximity to a fully-equipped kitchen, flush toilets and hot showers, it occurred to me that perhaps ‘virtual camping’ is more our style. Won’t the kids be surprised when I drive them around in circles for a few hours, only to return home to our ‘campsite’. I only wish I could get my reservation fee back from the Forest Service campground …

Weary David
David was exhausted, just from watching Joshua set up the tent!

Project 365, Day 236

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In the morning, I’m makin’ waffles!

Anyone recognize that obscure movie quote? Hint: think animated and braying.

This summer I received an unexpected present – a George Foreman Next Grilleration Removable-Plate grill. Whew, that’s a mouthful. The gift was a complete surprise. I didn’t know I needed a new grill. I hadn’t been shopping and drooling over kitchen appliances. It wasn’t even on my Amazon gift list. Appliances usually take up the king size portion of your budget when remodeling your kitchen. Consider what appliances you already have. What appliances do you use often? If you have less money to replace appliances, the stove and oven should be top on your list. When on a tight budget, you may consider a few updates rather than a whole overhaul of your kitchen design. If you’re looking for a good refrigerator repair professional, you may want to ask your friends and family for recommendations. It’s actually really common for kitchen appliances to break or stop working, and it’s likely that your friends or family members have had to choose a repair professional in the past. Getting an honest recommendation can be as simple as asking them, point-blank, what their experience was like. Remember: You don’t necessarily have to hire the refrigerator repair professional that your family recommends–it’s just always wise to have a number of options. Kindly have a peek at these guys for best Appliance Repairs services.

What was I thinking?? Since receiving this wonderful grill, I think I’ve used it nearly every single day.

foreman grill

What? Don’t you take your electric grill outside to the picnic table for photo shoots? Be honest now.

I’ve used it to make pancakes, waffles, grilled cheese sandwiches, lemon pepper chicken tenders, cheese quesadillas, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, and hamburgers. Breakfast is one of my all time favorite parts of the day – when else can you have sweets, carbs and protein all at the same time and call it a ‘meal’? This new grill is PERFECT for breakfast dishes.

The interchangeable plates work wonderfully – there is an upper and lower waffle set, a baking tray (similar to a basic griddle) for the bottom and grilling plates for top and bottom. Incredibly they are dishwasher safe and non-stick. That alone is worth retiring my old, crusty Foreman grill. The new grill can either rest flat or tilt forward – perfect for cooking steaks or anything else with a little, ahem, extra fat. The drip trays catch all that terrible grease and the spatulas (included) are designed to work with the ridges and contours of the grill. There is even a cookbook full of delicious recipes. You can continued reading this article from here.

sarah and the flowers

Sarah stole the roses from my Foreman grill photo shoot and said I could take “6 or 8 pictures” of her. How well she knows me.

The only problem I’ve encountered so far with my new favorite appliance is where to store it. Or more importantly, how to keep it on the counter. My children (oblivious to my need to have the grill available at ANY MOMENT) keep putting it away in the pantry. I hate to fuss. I mean, after all, they are helping to tidy up the kitchen.

Still, I like knowing an easy meal — anything from breakfast tacos, tuna melt or herb-crusted salmon — is right there at my finger tips. I don’t want to haul this baby back and forth out of the pantry all day, do I? That might involve work and the goal is EASE of cooking in the kitchen. Now I have to train the children to leave the grill OUT on the counter.

david and his stick

Look, David’s getting ready to go inside and put the grill away. I can tell.

For a long list of customer reviews, visit the Amazon site. The response was overwhelming positive. Thanks for thinking of me, Mom. I LOVE the new grill and feel absolutely, totally and completely spoiled whenever I use it.

Project 365 – Day 235

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I could never live without …

I think it’s time for a poll here at the Duckabush Blog. No, not pool, poll. If it were a little warmer I might be talking about pools, but we’re in the pacific northwest and it’s nearing the end of August, all of which means it will soon be raining, rendering the need for a pool obsolete.

Sigh. Let’s not talk about it. I’m not ready for summer to end. And don’t even get me started about the pathetic summer we’ve had this year.

georgie porgie

This is my new, amazing George Foreman grill that I love and use almost daily. I need to write a complete review soon.

A poll is just the thing to cheer me up. Click on the one kitchen item without which you would be bereft, devastated, or even desolate. I depend heavily on all of these things so it’s going to be hard selecting just one.

bread and veggies

Two faithful kitchen companions. Without them I would have to, gasp, knead bread by hand and actually chop my own veggies.

And then there’s my love of coffee, thoroughly documented in this little post. My children might vote for the coffee maker out of self-preservation. “Keep Mom caffeinated!” is one of their loudest cheers. :)

Project 365 – Day 234

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