Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Looking Back or What A Difference Color Makes

I decided to look for pictures I've posted on much earlier posts - which show the spring and summer and fall - and reveal how color affects our emotions - to remind anyone reading this of warmer days and more colorful days to come.

This was last spring. Ann wasn't pregnant. I don't guess I have ever posted this picture because I hadn't yet started my blog. This was one of the first milder days and my snowball bush had been blooming long enough to begin dropping petals.

This was in the summer - on a Sunday afternoon. It was the first weekend Ann had found out she was pregnant. That's Ellie in the sprinkler.

Ann with little Andrew inside - just a speck.

A summer afternoon rain - and I have shown this picture.

Moving into cooler days - but the sun still very bright. The leaves are off the trees, but there is still some color.

The sugar maple right before it changes color.

Golden with Luke to the left.

And this was yesterday - after I had been on the lawn mower

cutting leaves and old monkey grass.

Not to be too serious - but isn't it amazing how God planned the seasons - even the dormant stages - when one feels as if one is hibernating - the dormant stages, too, are so necessary.

Well - I am going to close this post.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

1981 - 2009

I am trying to decide whether to keep up this blog. I have no inspiration to write anything. Is it because it's January? Well, January is almost over. Next is February. We're headed into active days. If anyone reads my blog, then I know you've read Ann's and see that the projected birth date for Andrew is Monday February 2, 2009. All of us involved need to buckle up for safe landing.

This whole week is so unusual - surreal - ghosts - is it really 2009 already??? In 1981 I was three weeks overdue with Ann - and it was my first pregnancy. She had been due on January 16 and everytime I went to the doctor - absolutely no change in my body - and he'd send me home. And this year all the days are the same, because Ann was born on Sunday, February 1. This year February 1 falls on a Sunday. Charlie and I were living in Goosepond apartments - not far from where Ann and Steve live now. When Friday January 30th arrived I thought I would go mad. I just didn't think my body was working. It wasn't! It wasn't doing anything to deliver my baby. And the doctor seemed perfectly calm about the whole thing. I remember that Friday night being in my bedroom, Charlie was watching TV, and I went in the back to "beg" God to please let something happen. I felt guilty because anytime I am disgruntled with a situation, I know that so many people have far worse circumstances - so I knew that I had absolutely no reason to complain - yet my brain felt like it could not approach another moment that didn't involve delivering this baby inside of me. I determined that the next morning Charlie and I would start walking, and that we'd walk and walk and walk until I went into labor. That was my intent. Well, Saturday morning we did walk, but I soon had to return to the apartment - I'd not factored in that I couldn't get far from a bathroom.

The day passed and after lunch I lay down to nap. I vividly recall a sharp line of pain, very very thin line, up my swollen belly. It happened once, but it never occurred to me that it was labor. Imagine! I'm 3 weeks overdue and I didn't think, "labor pain". A while later it happened again, and then again, not very uncomfortable but it got my attention - and then I had that AHA! moment. Could this be it??? I did fall asleep, and when I woke, I was still having those consistent sensations - all along. I didn't tell Charlie - that's just so like me - because I didn't want to be "watched". I just kept it to myself - and all the way to bedtime - and they were getting stronger - As Charlie was falling asleep, and I was staying up - I decided to warn him. He calmly said, "Well, let me know if anything happens" - and he fell asleep. I stayed up all night long, literally. I watched all of Street Car Named Desire. When I see or hear anything about that movie with M. Brando and Vivian Leigh, I think of the night I was in labor with Ann. I couldn't sleep at all, because I was so aware of the possibility of having my longed for little baby. I was never incredibly uncomfortable. Mostly just had to wince a bit when I had the contraction. I did shower in the wee hours so I'd be clean as a whistle. I woke Charlie pretty early and we called the doctor. He had me come in - and I did have Ann that day. She was born at 1:58 p.m. on Sunday February 1, 1981.

So - here we are, like I said earlier, same week - only it's 2009. I blinked and we got here. When I describe those scenes I'm seeing the images. I can see exactly how those things happened - those events. It's like a movie is playing in my head, and I'm watching it. So - I'm very excited about Andrew Bailey Barber's birth. I can't wait to see him.

Friday, January 23, 2009

This is Birthday Season for Us

Three of my four girls' birthdays are coming up.....

and I'll have to say that of all the things I love to remember - and which are my favorite things - it's the birth of each of my daughters. I love to remember my wedding day - and Charlie's proposal and all of that - but finding out that each of my girls were growing inside of me, and the whole pregnancy, even being sick, and the fullness of the pregnancy - the discomfort - and the anticipation of each one- all of that is the icing on the cake -(cake being meeting and marrying Charlie) So, that sounds like I love my girls more than I love Charlie. Not true. It's all different. Charlie and I love being together at this stage of our life - prefer each other's company to anyone's - although we do need a balance of friends and family - I was just wired with the maternal gene - whatever that is. And on top of that, God blessed me with girls who have grown into incredible women. If they read this, they'll say, well, you never tell us that - or, wow, who knew you were thinking that??? Which, it's true - I don't hand out a lot of encouragement. Sad - but back to birthdays and births and what I like to remember.

This is birthday month.

Sarah's birthday is Saturday January 24, 1986
Ann's birthday is Sunday February 1, 1981
Kate's birthday is Monday February 15, 1988

Lb is in August, August 12, 1982. But I can't leave her out of this discussion. Bless you, LB. I am glad that at least one of my babies was born during a different season than the others. If you want to get to know LB, see my list of blogs. adaupdates2. It was certainly unplanned to have 3 children with birthdays within 3 weeks of each other. They could have been on the same day - because of the scheduling of a C-Section - but I wanted each girl to have her own birthday.

Sarah's birthday is tomorrow. In 1986, when she was born, insurance companies still paid for the C-Section moms to be admitted the night before surgery was scheduled. With 2 other children at home, Mom and Dad came up to stay with them while Charlie and I headed off to Huntsville Hospital. I never knew ahead of time the gender of my baby. I would have loved to know,boy or girl, but in those days, the ultra-sound wasn't clear enough. I was always nervous going into a C-Section - I just don't like all of that - I always had an epidural so I'd be awake during the delivery - except not with Ann - I was not prepared for a C-Section and had not planned to have an epidural.

Sarah was born early in the morning and that magical sound of her crying - there's nothing like that. I cried everytime I heard the first cry. If I'm watching that baby show on TV, I cry when I hear the babies cry for the first time. I just love it. With C-Sections they show me the baby, as I lay there unable to use my right arm, flat on my back - not the best bonding situation - but after an hour in recovery I'm in my room, and they always bring the baby in pretty soon. I can still remember Sarah being brought in - that's heaven to me - I can see her and remember reaching out for her. Oh fun, fun, fun. I was so fortunate that with all of my babies, nursing them was a breeze. Never any problems - so I didn't understand those complications I've heard about from Moms - until Ann and Laura Beth had their babies - it really happens - but, honestly - I tend to blame the hospitals they were in - I just think there's something going on with the hospitals and the formula companies. Maybe I'm wrong - but I nearly did battle with the nurses in each place - they were insisting on bottles, etc. when those newborns wouldn't nurse that first hour - those totally hydrated newborns who are not hungry yet.

I also remember that my friend from S'boro and from my church, Calvary Baptist, was in my room at the same time they brought Sarah in - Yonea Chunn - she was doing her whatever in nursing and was there at H'ville Hospital. So - she was there the first time I nursed Sarah. At the time Yonea had no children - she now has NINE children!!

I, too, have a vivid memory of that day and three ladies from Calvary, Sherry Black, Brenda Wigley, and, I think, Sandra Herring, visiting me and standing around my bed. They looked beautiful to me. When one is in the hospital bed, following surgery, the appearance of the one visiting is like the most refreshing look. They are whole and well and able to walk about.

I also remember Charlie bringing Ann and LB up to see Sarah. It was snowing outside and I could look through my window, through the space of outside, and into the next hall, where the babies were viewed. I could wave to them through the windows.

In 1986 insurance companies did discourage hospitals from keeping the patient too long. With each baby my hospital stays were more brief than the other. I stayed 10 days with Ann!! Fewer days with Laura Beth, and Sarah, and by the time I had Kate in 1988 I only stayed 4 days. I supposed eventually a C-Section will be day surgery. On the last day of my hospital stay, with Sarah - I was waiting for Charlie to pick me up at the hospital. Mother and Daddy had driven back to south Alabama with Ann and Laura Beth who were 5 and 3 1/2. During that waiting period - a nurse came in to ask me if I'd had the television on. The spaceship "Challenger" had exploded during takeoff. (my room was just outside the nurse's station). I didn't even know anyone was going up in space. If that launch had been successful I probably wouldn't remember it - but I turned my tv on immediately. All day I watched that scene - and nurses were in and out of my room, catching a glimpse of that horror. We were all aghast at what had happened. It was so awful. I was hardly a patient anymore. We were just caught up in those lives being extinguished so suddenly.

The day I took Sarah home from the hospital, Charlie had not expected such a quick release - so he had so many things to settle at work - it was difficult to get away. By the time we drove away from the hospital that afternoon, late, it was dark out. Sarah was fine - Charlie was stressed, and I wanted it to be a party. There was a bit of conflict, but we got it together - and arrived back in Scottsboro with Sarah.

We stared at her for the first two hours or so. I remember sitting on the couch with her, Charlie beside me - and we just stared. There were no little girls(Ann and Laura Beth) to draw us away. It was as if we had a do over of bringing the first baby home, for the first time. We weren't so scared of her - we knew she was healthy and well and that she was safe enough. We loved her so much and couldn't get enough of looking into her face.

I do remember the first night, when she woke for her feeding. That feeling of, "Oh yeah - I don't get to sleep through the night". Charlie and I both laughed at the time - at ourselves - at the situation - and there we were - another newborn infant - several months before any schedule - oh dear.

My first and second day, Charlie at work, I know that my two closest friends, Corny and Yonea, were over, helping me with the day - with laundry - etc. They were on board - but I, being the introvert, that I am, had been looking forward to a day of just myself while Sarah snoozed the biggest part of the day - although who could resist the fun of those two ladies. I remember, when Corny showed up at the door, first, envying her ability to get into normal jeans. I still had a LOT of baby weight and tummy. It was all fun and exciting. Except when my postpartum blues kicked in on the 2nd or 3rd day and I was wild with homesickness for Ann and Laura Beth. I had this bizarre notion that I would never see them again. I knew the day they were scheduled to return with Mom and Dad, but I was insane with angst over their safe return. I called Mom, I was unable to speak through my crying - she was unaccustomed to such an emotional daughter over practical things (my emotion and drama was usually over intangibles) - but alas - they did return to me - and all was well.

There are so many memories. Sarah was an incredibly easy baby. She was beautiful, and still is, and so delightful to have around. It was magic. New babies, to me, are heaven. It's so easy to love them - even when they are screaming - although that can be maddening and crazy - I'll admit - but the good far outweighs the bad to me.

As I close this post - a huge element to Sarah's birth - exactly one week, to the day, following her birth, was Ann's 5th birthday. It was also Ann's first real birthday party, with gifts from friends. It was at Pizza Hut - and I had arranged it prior to going into the hospital to have Sarah. Charlie was with me, plus some moms of the children attending helped me a lot. I sat in the booth most of the time, still in recovery from surgery, and I do remember having the shakes and feeling very lightheaded, but we "got it done" and have pictures to show for it. Mother and Daddy were at home with 1 week old Sarah. I only nursed her at the time, so I'm sure I didn't stay at Pizza Hut more than 2 hours. I always nursed my babies on an every 2 hour schedule - until they got some meat on their bones and their newborn nerves had settled down. I just let myself be their pacifier.

Next post - Ann's birth - because hers is the next birthday on the calendar.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One Week Since Last Post!

I made more great memories during these seven days -
when I haven't been posting.
Thursday night, January 15, Charlie and I had 3 other couples at our house for dinner. So fun.
Menu was Steak, Uniquely Baked Potatoes, Wedge Salad w/Ranch Dressing, Sauteed Mushrooms, Iced Tea, Brown n Serve Rolls, and Individual Pastry Shells with 3 different cream fillings and real whipped cream for topping. The 3 fillings were Chocolate, Butterscotch, and Coconut Cream. So - does that make any reader of this blog hungry for something good? It was very good. The meal sounds rather heavy to me when I read that. The focus was more on the mansize appetites and basic foods. We had originally planned to go to Outback, but I don't like Outback - it's loud and heavy - and I knew Charlie and I could prepare better food - and the fellowship would be better. So I offered my home and our food skills. Hence the heavy steak menu. And heavy dessert! But it was all good - and we all had very full tummies....I was a bit miserable, which I do not like - but oh well. The fellowship was good and we laughed a whole lot. It was fun.
Then - Friday morning I had plans to travel to Birmingham - to visit 4 friends who live there and whom I've known since high school and college.

I meant to take my camera so I could post pictures - but naturally I forgot it!!

Let me introduce my friends.

Martha - she and I have known each other since we were little. Our Mothers were pregnant at the same time, with each of us, and we always heard the following story:

Mother(Edith) and Martha's mother(Addie) were friends and had followed each other's pregnancy - I was born in July of 51 and Martha was born 3 months later in October of 51. The story goes that only 2 or 3 months(I don't know this detail) later, after Martha had been born, Mother saw Addie and remarked to her, "Addie, aren't you glad we're not pregnant?!". To that Addie replied, "But I am pregnant." So, Mary, Martha's sister, is about 11, 12, or 13 months younger than Martha. So glad for that slipup, because now we all know the sisters, Martha and Mary!

Martha was always a grade behind me since her b'day was in October, plus she was a member, 2 or 3 blocks over, at the First Baptist Church, and her house wasn't in walking distance to mine - those factors somehow kept us from playing very often together as little girls - but we gravitated back toward each other in high school.

Val - Val is from Evergreen. She was 2 grades below me in school and 1 grade below Martha. Mary, Martha's sister, and Val were in the same grade along with my cousin, Rachel. Val and I hardly knew each other as little girls. We've discussed this before. She did, however, grow up being very close to Martha and Mary. Again, 1st Baptist Church - and I was over at the Methodist Church. But - through my cousin, Rachel, Val and I got to know each other, when we were all in band - and in high school we connected - and through Val I connected to Martha and Mary.

Sarah - Sarah is from Sylvester, GA. She and I met when I transferred from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL to Auburn University. That was in the Winter of 1972. We were assigned as roommates in Dorm H or J on the Hill. It was one of the two "6 stories" dorms nearest the President's Home. Let me just add that in those days, whatever stuff I still had to work through in life, I had already been rooted in the sovereignty of God. I had bathed that roommate situation in prayer - completely. Sarah and I roomed together Winter and Spring Quarters of 1972, Fall Quarter of 1972, and Winter and Spring Quarters of 1973. Sarah graduated in the spring of 1973. The summer of 1973 I moved out of the dorm to begin "apartment" living with Mary and Martha. Let me just add that in the fall of 1972 Martha had transferred from another school and was sharing a suite with Sarah and me in our Dorm on The Hill. So, Sarah and Martha met.

Mary Emily - I know Mary Emily through Sarah. They were both in Speech Therapy. M.E. lived on another floor, in the same dorm - and would come to our room to discuss assignments with Sarah. I kept to myself on my single bed as I worked on my art projects - but eventually M.E. and I began to converse. As we talked I learned that Mary Emily was from Monroeville, AL - only 30 min. from my hometown of Evergreen, AL. I also learned that Mary Emily had just had an awakening, a new understanding - perhaps her new birth - but a new understanding about what it meant to trust Christ - she had just learned that it is the Holy Spirit who empowers each of us, as believers, to live out the righteousness we've inherited from the God of all creation. She, like so many who trust that Christ is the Savior of the world, had been trying to do it through her own efforts. I remember that clearly. She was a very excited, enthusiastic believer in Christ. She had been set free from the bondage of her flesh. She understood that and she was empowered by God and His Holy Spirit. I had been praying for someone to be a friend, someone who understood the gospel. YAY!

So - it was Martha, Val, Sarah, and Mary Emily whom I visited this past weekend. I travelled to B'ham on Friday - had lunch with Mary Emily - and went on to the home of Martha where I was to spend the night. She was having Val and Sarah over for dinner, in honor of my quick trip to B'ham. Mary Emily had been invited, but had plans for the evening - therefore she and I met for lunch.

(an aside - I don't want to talk about it so much right now - but - Martha married my cousin John in 19seventy something - I think 73 or 74- if anyone has read any of my posts on my blog then you know I love my cousins - John died unexpectedly in 2004. It was October 28. So - I refer to Martha, who was a high school buddy - as my "cousin-in-law". Do people say that? They have one son, John Law and he is married to Katie. John Law and Katie have two sons, Jay and William. It was such a shock to all of us and so very unexpected. The grief was at every level.

Also, Sarah's husband, Hube, died in 2006. I had no idea he had been sick. I had just seen Sarah at my Mother's funeral the week before - and the following week Val called to tell me that Hube had died. He had had some illness, but I don't think anyone was expecting him to die. Charlie and I drove down to B'ham for his funeral - we sat with Martha and Val and I visited, not only with Sarah, but with her 2 sisters whom I had not seen in such a long time.)

All of the ladies I visited in B'ham have my highest regard -
and I am inspired by what God is doing in their lives
as He takes them through life's "stuff".
They bless me each time I am with them.
An added bonus to the trip: Martha's two nieces(Mary's daughters) were staying at her house on Friday night. They both have a medical career - like their grandmother, Addie. She was a nurse in Evergreen - a really good nurse. It was such a treat to visit with them, on Martha's couch, after everyone had gone home. So much de ja vu. I also know their dad - of course I almost never see their parents - but they each remind me so much of one or the other.
I drove to Birmingham on Friday and returned on Saturday.
Kate was home for the weekend - so we had a good visit.
She is preparing for a mission trip to China - going with Campus Crusade.
Only for a week - in the spring - but anticipates longer trips in the future -
under God's direction, of course.
And then the inauguration yesterday.
I had it on all day as I milled about the house.
Perhaps I'll comment on that in another post.
I really enjoyed watching all of it and while I am a conservative voter,
it was all very moving and emotional.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Working On It

I just hate that that very serious post is still all I have to show. It's 5 days later. I've been occupied and not able to write. It's going to be that way for a while. Sporadic - but I'm working on a post, telling about my activities for the last 5 days. I've been making great memories.

Bear with me and thank you for visiting my blog. My new post will probably be up some time today.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Still On a Serious Note - or Honest Confession -

Before I return to my memorabilia - and "stuff" from the 50's and 60's, and even the 1900's or 30's and 40's - I feel compelled to comment on my recent 3 posts which were much more spiritual and indepth than my usual journaling. There's so much serious stuff out there, so many wonderful resources regarding God in our lives, my insight hardly makes a ripple.

There was the post in which I ended quoting 1 Peter. The following is exactly what I wrote:

I am God's elect. I am a stranger in the world. I have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit.
I have been chosen and am being sanctified for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His blood:
I can expect grace and peace in abundance.

When I wrote that I understood, full well, that there would be things which would "clog" the peace available to me. I have other things in my life which I still "cling" to for peace. Crazy!

I've known for a long time that it is the mental and emotional health of my 4 daughters which rival my loving God with all of my heart and soul and mind and strength. My flesh still wants them to always be "com-fort-a-ble!!!" Which, that can be a bit confusing - because God continues to use me foremost in a maternal capacity. I've no doubt that He's used me as a mother in their lives to pray, direct, point, teach, influence, love, etc. - but with a lot of error as well. Now I have the pleasure and opportunity to grandparent. MAN! What a blessing!!! What fun! But exhausting, as well.

So - last night - here it comes - I don't know if it was God - or the enemy - or just flesh - or all 3 - but I did receive a phone call which needn't have been any kind of threat to the mental and emotional health of any of my children - it was from one of my daughters - but I heard something, translated it, and felt "threatened" for one of them in two ways - and I began to react.

Imagine this - all the available peace and grace of God, and then imagine my walking right past that - saying a defiant NO! - and choosing to trust the elements of this world and my brain. It was my decision to control people and things. Again, crazy!! Well, what happens, when Elizabeth gets so sock up, knee deep, in her flesh, sinking in the quicksand of flesh and human strength, is that Elizabeth begins to start flinging stones at everyone visible. I was throwing verbal darts at Charlie, my daughter and the people around my daugher. I trusted noone and I certainly didn't trust God. In that moment, at its worst, I was choosing to be the savior of my children and myself. again - absurd.

The way it would look from any passerby who might happen to listen in on the Rhodes' home - Elizabeth is speaking ever so harshly to her daughter over the phone and it doesn't sound good.

We ended up crying - Charlie was ironing and I had him return the call to her to check for emotional damage I had done - He did - but because he didn't have a complete informative rundown on the whole situation, his words were stumbling over a hurting child - so with calmer emotions I got back on the phone. Thanks to the spiritual and emotional maturity of my daughter, and enough loving through the years, we were able to put a Godly and stable spin on the whole thing, each of us confessing our failures - still- the wreckage. We got off the phone. I had my husband to support me. She had noone. So I called her back in 10 min. She was better, but yes, had been crying. So had I. We talked for a long time, in lieu of her having a person there to be with her. She and I both ended that conversation with an amazing amount of peaceful, calm tones and in harmony - understanding the true heart's desire of the other one. I checked on her today - checking for emotional "stability", feeling responsible for damage I'd done -

I have just been very wide open about all of that to say - in reality - the peace of God depends on trusting HIM - leaning on HIM - knowing HIM and the power of His resurrection. Again - I can expect grace and peace in abundance. BUT - when I find myself in the opposite of peace and cannot navigate my way out of the situation - as in last night - my daughter and I both knew we just needed to get off the phone - then I need to go back to the starting place.

It's like getting lost - Either go back to where I began - or if it's more efficient - navigate from that place -

In my dreams, I am this calm, older woman who leans only on the Lord - and as situations enter my realm of thought and vision - I am able to remain wise and broken and leaning on the everlasting arms - I regret that at age 57 I still have way too much human fight in me. My desire is to lay it all down - be the trusting child and know that my heavenly Father has an answer for this. Again - there is always grace and peace in abundance.

Besides looking to God and His promises, His word, His truth in these situations - I also begin to reflect on the past and my family experiences.

My grandmother, Ella, was the mother of my mother and my mother's 3 sisters. Do the math and you see that Ella had four daughers. I have four daughters. Those are unusual dynamics.

It was Ella and Elbert and their 4 girls. They were all close, close, close. I do remember drama, but I also know that until the day Mom and Lucille went to heaven, they all remained close. They have always been fiercely loyal to each other - Florence and Mary are the two who remain. They continue to communicate, regularly. Each of them have their family, their children who care for them - but there remains a love and respect between Mary and Florence - it's a tremendous thing to have in old age. Anyway, besides the kingdom of heaven and the glory of God being foremost - on this earth I desire to make every effort to preserve the unity of family and sisters and the love and respect of extended family.

Above all of that I really do desire to be out of the way of God in my life. I desire to lay it all down, trust Him with the situation - allow Him to live in me - It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me - Oh! may it be lived out! That I not only have the peace of God, but exude the peace of God to those around me.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Okay - I'm going to finish this avenue I've been on in the last 2 blogs - and then return to everyday stuff - and, I suppose, my memorabilia. I remember that - viewing "older women" as ancient and being interested in their past - and what shaped them - how they arrived at the place where they happened to be - I still am that way - I love biographies - observing the journey of a man or a woman - What is it that makes you tick? That's my question.

I don't really read a lot of blogs - if I am wanting to read a very long piece on the computer, I print it out and curl up on the couch to read. On the computer I can't concentrate very well sitting up straight and reading long, thought provoking, spiritual stuff - which is why, normally, I steer away from deep issues on my blog. Blogs, to me, are more for entertainment - does everyone agree - or for good information - or pictures. I'm extremely visual - extremely. LOVE PIX. I'm reading a biography now and continually go to the pictures in the middle of the book. I want more pictures. It's a biography of Lilias Trotter. So, I've googled her to get more pix. Having a hard time finding them. She was a missionary to North Africa. Amazing story.
Anyway - I'm going to finish what I started.
Final words in last post:
"You used to be molded, you used to be fashioned, you used to be controlled by good desires that had become inordinate. That's what the word means - out of order - too important to you - good things. "- Tim Keller on 1 Peter 1: 14
and I said....
The question I have to ask myself, says Elizabeth;
Is there something that is good and normal, but it is too important to me?
Am I shaped and molded by it,
or am I shaped and molded by the Holy Spirit indwelling me?
Am I ready at any moment to let go of anything He asks me to let go of?
The following is what I am going to finish posting which is a direct quote from Tim Keller's CD regarding vs. 14 of 1 Peter:
" Tom Oden - Prof. at Drew - 'Everybody has to live for something - Everybody has to have some central value that is the basis on which we make decisions'
'There is something that is your ultimate value, your ultimate reason for living - it could be attractiveness, it could be approval of people, it could be power, it could be anything - but everybody's got to have something that you live for -
That central value is that something without which you cannot receive life joyfully.'
- Thomas Oden
So - if you don't have that - your life falls apart.
T.O. says, 'now, you can either make God your central value which is an infinite center or you can put something finite in the way, something finite in the center - and when that happens - to the degree on which I center my life on a finite value instead of God, to that degree I relate to my past with guilt and to my future with anxiety. My relationship to the future will be one of anxiety to the degree that I have idolized finite values. Anxiety becomes neurotically intensified to the degree that I have idolized finite values that properly should have been regarded as limited. If the thing I'm living for is money or if the thing I'm living for is my children or if the thing I'm living for is the Republican party or the Democratic Party I'm always going to be experiencing anxiety because those finite values cannot last. And so I will always feel threatened. On the other hand my relationship to the past will be one of guilt. Guilt becomes neurotically intensified to the degree that I have idolized finite values that properly should have been regarded as limited. Why? Because if you've decided that 'the only way which I'm going to be able to look myself in the mirror is because of this value - I will achieve - I will be loved - I will look good' - whatever you decide that you've got to have in order to have meaning in life - when you fail those standards - finite gods NEVER FORGIVE - ever - You're always down on yourself.'
I have guilt in my life to the degree that I idolize finite values. I have anxiety in my life to the degree that I idolize finite values. And that's what Peter is talking about. What he is saying is; Life without God necessarily means I am driven by inordinate desires - good desires for good things that now fill me with anxiety and fill me with guilt."
That's all. That's all I have to say about that.
And I'll return to my less indepth subject matter in the next post.
There are stories to go with some of the songs I select.
I feel like I need to write about some point.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


In my last post I ended with "therefore....." and wrote that I would finish that sentence in my next post.

My "therefore" followed what I had just said,
that because of the whole, endless depth, truth of the gospel, that I could expect grace and peace in abundance in 2009 (and all the days of my life); in anything that comes my way.

Therefore -

What I wanted to share with anyone - but I think it's too long - so I was trying to give myself time to condense it - but I can't really condense it - is something I heard on a cd by Tim Keller. I have a series and he is teaching all of 1 Peter. It is so clear and so well spoken that I did the thing where I play, rewind, play, rewind - until I have it word for word on paper.

1 Peter 1: 13 - 14
13. Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
( that verse alone is so rich and he taught this whole thing about all of that, which is so well done, but that's not what I'm getting to)
14. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
15. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
So, this post is going to be what he taught on verse 14.
but it's too long to do the whole thing,
in one post.
I'll type part of it and perhaps the next part in my next post.
Here goes:
14. as obedient children - do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
"The word conform is the word that means to be shaped or molded and....
Evil - Epithumia from epi = in, upon and used to intensify the meaning + thumos = the mind: means to have a strong desire to do or secure something. A great desire, longing or craving for something and in context refers to a desire for something forbidden or inordinate ( exceeding reasonable limits).
Think of all our legitimate needs which God created. Emotional and Physical. Creative needs, Social needs, the desire to work and accomplish something - maternal needs, romantic needs, hunger, thirst, rest, balance,
Peter says that a Godless life is not so much a life of evil desires, that's a poor translation, it gives you the idea of people who pillage, murder, do violence, etc. - that's not what this word is talking about. You used to be molded, you used to be fashioned, you used to be controlled by good desires that had become inordinate. That's what the word means - out of order - too important to you - good things. " - Tim Keller on 1 Peter 1: 14
The question I have to ask myself, says Elizabeth; Is there something that is good and normal, but it is too important to me? Am I shaped and molded by it, or am I shaped and molded by the Holy Spirit indwelling me? Am I ready at any moment to let go of anything He asks me to let go of?

Monday, January 5, 2009


2009 is not slowing down for me.

We have some pretty big family events the first 5 months of 2009, but it doesn't stop there. Andrew Bailey Barber will be born either the end of January or the beginning of February. My sister and I are planning a luncheon, in March, in her home for a cousin who is getting married in April. Charlie's niece is getting married Easter weekend in April and the following weekend my cousin is getting married. Ellie will be a flower girl in my cousin's wedding.
May marks the end of another Auburn semester. Moving Kate out of her house and into storage. After that comes summer and Kate will either be coming home or going to China on a mission trip. Sarah will be coming home for the summer.In the fall, there is the return to school - moving the girls in and out of places - and Sarah will graduate in December. Laura Beth hopes to be pregnant during a large part of 2009.

And then, there are all the things we don't even know about.

Well - that all is neither here nor there - because of the living hope

I have in Jesus Christ!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

So - whatever each day holds for me, in 2009, whether it be valleys or mountaintops, laughter or tears, joy or sorrow, more money or less money, failures or successes, pain or comfort, illness or health, all of it comes to me so that my faith - of greater worth than gold - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Though I have not seen Him, I love Him; and even though I do not see Him now, I have believed in Him and am filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for I am receiving the goal of my faith, the salvation of my soul.

I am God's elect. I am a stranger in the world. I have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit.

I have been chosen and am being sanctified for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His blood:

I can expect grace and peace in abundance.

(Refer to 1 Peter 1: 1-9)


(I'll post my therefore tomorrow)